Wednesday, January 18, 2006

School? What's that?

That's what I'm fearing Emma will say once she has to go back after 2 straight "Snow days". Well, yesterday wasn't technically a "snow day", it was more of an "ice day", as we had freezing rain. Joy. Last time I checked, frozen rain was "snow". But apparently, here in the Midwest, they have another whole category of precipitation that we native Californians are not aware of. But, then again, I wish I could feel ok with complaining about the weather, but in all honesty, this winter really hasn't been that had so far. It's barely snowed at all since Christmas (with the exception of last night, thus causing the 2nd day in a row of Emma having school cancelled), and what snow we did have melted in the week of abnormally high temps (ok, it was in the upper 30's & lower 40's, but that's abnormal) we had for about 2 weeks. But, I'm expecting it to start up again here soon. Usually what happens is we have snow on & off from the middle of November to January, which melts and re-accumulates. Then, in January, it snows really big, and it stays until the end of March/beginning of April. And as weird as this sounds, I'm actually hoping it'll snow enough to cover the ground for awhile. The grass is all yellow & dead looking, and I'd rather have snow on the ground to make it look pretty than have to stare at that. I know, what's becoming of me? Not that I love the cold weather, I just would rather have snow than dead grass.
So, an "ice day" yesterday & a "snow day" today. Today was supposed to be Emma's snack day. I bought vanilla wafers & cheese sticks. I don't know if I should keep them, or let the kids eat them. I'm thinking that because every child in the class has been assigned a snack day, that probably means Emma won't get to "make up" her snack day. She'll just have to wait until next time, which will be in about a month. So I'm thinking, let the kids eat it. I know Sarah will be happy, she loves vanilla wafers. And as picky as Emma is, she actually likes cheese sticks. But, she won't eat a slice of cheese from the block. Strange.
I'm getting impatient for my U/S in 2 1/2 weeks. I really want to find out what we're having. I still have my suspicions that it's a boy, but then again, I thought Sarah was a boy. We've been having a rash of ppl we know who have 3 of the same sex. It's not a good omen, lol. But, then again, I believe genetics has more influence than trends. And according to my family, you have 2 girls and then a boy (or two boys, but I doubt that will happen). My grandmother did it, as did my dad. My aunt started the trend, but stopped after having my two cousins (both girls). So I'm still holding out hope for a boy. Even though, if it ends up being a girl, I won't be disappointed, and I won't have to buy much, lol. But, I think Jeff's craving a bit of testosterone in the house. He feels like he's living in a harem, and everyone's having PMS. Too much estrogen. It's like that song in "Annie", "Little Girls". Not the homicidal inuendos, but I think you get what I mean. I'm anxious to find out the sex, not only because of the family dynamic implications, but also because I want to start picking a name. Jeff isn't even interested in discussing it because he feels, why should be agonize over a name, only to have 1/2 of the selections tossed out. He feels we should just wait until we know, and then we'll only have half the book to ponder over. I suppose it's a good point.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sure, why not?

I swear, the list of crap that happens to my family is growing ever larger, and I really don't know what to think of it. First, Sarah's hearing eval. She developed a fever the night before...greaaaat. I wasn't sure if they'd go ahead & perform the test, and I couldn't call them when they opened, because I needed to be there at that time, and it's an hour and a half long drive. So, I doped her up on Motrin and Tylenol, thought the fever was gone in the morning, put her in the car, and went. By the time I got there, the fever was back, sigh. I told the nurse about it, she took her temp, 100.5. Not bad, but she wanted to check with the sedation meds guy (not a real anesthesiologist, but something similar). He said she would probably be fine, but because of the Ds to make sure her airway was completely clear when she was asleep. So, we gave her the meds, and she fell asleep about 10-15 minutes later. They started hooking her up to everything, and commenced with the test. It took about 90 minutes, during which time I read a little, and then stared at the monitors, and listened to the idle chat between the hearting test guy, and the Outpatient Nurse who was overseeing Sarah. By the time the test was over, it was about 12pm. She woke up when the guy tried to do a tympanogram on her. He couldn't get a reading on her right ear, but was able to on her left. He said that was normal. He then proceeds to tell me that Sarah tested as having a 30% hearing loss in her left ear, which I don't quite understand. She's never had any ear infections, and she passed her newborn hearing screen. So, I'm not sure what's happened since then to cause the hearing loss. She has no fluid, so it can't be that. Oh well another mystery to be solved.
So, back to the fever. It continued until Saturday, and then that night, I was putting her pj's on and noticed Sarah had a light rash on her chest and belly. The next morning it was almost covered in this red rash. Sigh, roseola. It explains the fever. Oh well, one more thing for Sarah to put in her baby book. She got roseola, just like her big sister.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Can you hear me?

That's not really an issue with Sarah, I know she "hears" just fine. It's whether or not she's hearing well enough to imitate the sounds she's hearing into intelligible words in the future, which was a problem with Emma when she was a toddler. She had so many ear infections, that it affected her speech, and here we are with her, 4 years later, still dealing with ST. I'm not under the false hope that having Sarah's hearing professionally tested that it will make her speech perfect in the future. All I'm hoping to avoid is having to go back & re-teach her how to speak, after having learned how NOT to do it. She's thankfully never had a diagnosed ear infection, but there can be fluid with no infection. She's always grabbed at her ears, chewed on her fingers, all of that. The local ENT can't get a good seal on her tiny ear canals to be able to test her, so we're off to Lansing on Thursday to get a sedated ABR. Sedated, as in, they're putting my 20 month old to sleep. I'm not looking forward to this. They had to do the same thing to Emma when she was 3. I had all sorts of horrible visions in my head about Sarah thrashing around while they tried to insert a needle into her hand to administer the drugs to knock her out. But, the office called me yesterday with their list of demands (no food after midnight, no drinks after blah blah) and questions. They told me they give her an oral sedation med. Made me feel a lot better. Now the only problem is that I can't feed her until after I get home. That's going to suck. We're leaving the house at 6:30am, to get there by 8, the test is at 10, it takes about 2 hours, then we need to wait for her to wake up, and be drinking clear fluids for at least 30 minutes before we begin our hour & 15 minute drive home. I'm expecting that she won't be able to eat until at least 2:30pm. I'm counting on a very unhappy baby by the time we get home. I would cheat and feed her right away, but I don't know how she's going to react once awakening from the sedation, and I really don't want to deal with a pukey baby when I still have another 45 minutes to go on the drive home. So, I'm going to bite the bullet and just wait. I'll bring little things that hopefully won't upset her little tummy, like saltines and apple juice, just in case she gets really unruly, but I'm hoping that won't be necessary. I doubt she'll sleep on the way home, as she'll have just woken up from a very restful 2 hour nap.
In other news, I forgot to say that we found out that a bid has been accepted on our house. Which means, we're moving...again. Sigh. I hate this. This is the second house we've lived in since moving to MI 2 year ago, and it's the 2nd house that's been sold out from under us. I'm really tired of dealing with this. So, we've decided to buy. Bite the bullet and just get out from under someone else's thumb. We've already spent one Saturday looking at houses and we're planning on the doing the same thing for the next few Saturdays. Fun fun.

Monday, January 09, 2006


A very good online friend of mine has this song's lyrics posted on her daughter's webpage. Her daughter, Emma Jayne, has T21, just like Sarah, and is about 2 months older. The song is "Wonder" by Natalie Merchant. I've always loved that song, even though it came out 10 years ago, and I thought, after seeing it on EJ's page, about how it really encompasses all that our kids are about.
Well, during my daily perusing of my favorite message boards yesterday, I saw a post about how Natalie Merchant had been on VH1's Storytellers (probably a long time ago, as I don't even think that show is still in production) and had told the story of "Wonder". It IS about kids with Down syndrome, and other disabilities. I was so excited! It makes that song mean so much more to me, and I tear up every time I hear it. Here are the lyrics:

doctors have come from distant cities just to see me
stand over my bed disbelieving what they're seeing
they say I must be one of the wonders of god's own creation
and as far as they can see they can offer no explanation

newspapers ask intimate questions want confessions
they reach into my head to steal the glory of my story
they say I must be one of the wonders of god's own creation
and as far as they can see they can offer no explanation

o, I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle know this child will be able
laughed as my body she lifted know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience and with faith she'll make her way

people see me I'm a challenge to your balance
I'm over your heads how I confound you and astound you to know
I must be one of the wonders of god's own creation
and as far as you can see you can offer me no explanation

o, I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle know this child will be able
laughed as she came to my mother know this child will not suffer
laughed as my body she lifted know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience and with faith she'll make her way

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Long update

I apologize for not posting very recently. The last few weeks of the year I was sick, and then the whole fam came down with something. It was pretty hectic with trying to get ready for Christmas.
Things are going pretty well here, both the girls had a great holiday, with lots of presents from Santa and all their grandparents. Emma got us up at the fabulous hour of 5 AM on Christmas day. Argh. So, needless to say, all the gifts were opened by about 6:15am, and by 7am, I was passed out on the couch while Jeff was watching his Blue Man Group DVD and the girls were playing with their toys. I was still sick with a monster cold & sore throat, so I had to sleep in order to muster up enough energy to cook dinner.
We had decided that I would get the quad screen done, take make Jeff feel more at ease, and so I could get a Level II U/S. I got my results back and they were within normal ranges. So, we're looking forward to hopefully finding out what this little jumping bean will be on February 3rd. It will be a belated birthday present for me, lol.
Jeff got me an Eliptical Machine for Christmas (don't write him & tell him he's a chauvenist, I asked for it), so now I'll be able to work out regularly, and hopefully be in a little better shape when this baby's born. Mt. Pleasant has a lack of gyms, the only ones around are at the SAC on campus (too expensive) and at Wellness Central (no childcare). So, working out at home was the only logical choice.
Sarah has been exploring her world, and it's about to give me a heart attack. About 2 weeks ago, she wanted to climb the stairs, and me, being the kind of mom I am, indulged her. I stood right behind her the whole way, cheering her on, until she got to the top. Her PT said that it would help her with mobility & walking. Well, she apparently took the liberty I gave her to heart, because last week, she climbed the whole stairs, by herself, when no one was watching. I was reading a book, Jeff was upstairs on the phone, and he calls down to me, "Amanda, uh, Sarah's at the top of the stairs, and no one's with her." I about died. She's since done it once more, when it was just me at home. Ok, so the barracades go up at the bottom of the stairs when we're all down in the living room. The way this house is built, there's no wall on one side of the bottom of the stairs, so putting up a gate isn't possible. So, I drag the Pack 'N Play in front of the stairs to make a wall that she can't get past.
And for someone who can't walk yet, she's lightning quick. Earlier this week, I was preparing dinner and Sarah managed, in the space of abou 10 seconds, to crawl from the other side of the kitchen, over to the cabinets, reach up & grab the cord to the crock pot that was soaking on the counter, and pull it down on her head. The edge of the crock hit her squarely in the middle of her forehead, by her hairline. Instant goose egg, not to mention being soaked by cold soapy water. No broken skin, no bleeding, but off to the ER we go. After a head x-ray, they said she had no cracks or fractures (thank goodness). So, while I get it's true that babies are made of rubber, I'm really hoping she doesn't keep testing this theory. Because I'm about to have a stroke. Maybe it's because Emma was my first child and therefore I was free enough to keep ALL my attention on her ALL the time, but I seriously don't remember Emma being this adventurous or getting into this much trouble. As you get older, and have more responsibilities, you get less time to pay attention to everything all at once. My eyes are constantly darting around to make sure there's nothing in Sarah's path that can hurt her, but she still manages to get into something that she probably shouldn't. All this while still trying to take care of the house, not to mention 2 (and soon to be 3) other people. Oh, and myself; I always forget to take care of myself. That's why sometimes it's 3pm and I still haven't taken a shower. Emma's getting easier to take care of as she gets older. She's able to give herself a bath (she doesn't like showers, it's the water hitting her head or something), dress herself, take care of her bathroom necessities, clean her room (although this takes an act of Congress to actually get it done), etc. And not that's Sarah's hard to take care of, she's actually quite a pleasant baby/toddler. She doesn't get upset easily, is a good eater, and most of the time will sleep pretty well. She's just animated and has a ton of energy, which is hard to keep up with sometimes. She's doing really well with her gross motor skills, she's cruising along the furniture and bear crawling everywhere (that's where her legs are straight, with her hands & feet on the ground). She's also starting to sign more. She got the "Baby Signing Time" DVD's for Christmas, and has already learned "please" and "more". She's got "mommy" and "daddy" more sporadically. They're really cute videos. And one of the kids from the website is in the video! His name is Brady. He's the only kid with special needs in the whole line of videos (I believe). She's also (finally) getting bigger. She's up to 18 lbs. and is in 12 month clothes now. We have her spitting up pretty much under control, and we discovered that she's sensative to liquid milk, so we've put her on soy, and she's taken to it pretty well. She can have other dairy products (cheese, ice cream) but in moderation.
In medical news, Sarah has a sedated ABR (basically a more advanced hearing test) next week. I'm not looking forward to them putting my baby under general anesthesia. I was freaking out when they had to do it to Emma when she had Bell's Palsy at age 3. Sarah's not even 2. And I have to deal with it by myself. Jeff starts his spring semester this week, and really can't take time off. And of course, it's in Lansing, so it's going to be a long day. But, they really can't do any diagnostic tests at her ENT's office here. They just don't have the equipment small enough for her tiny ears. She's never had an actual diagnosed ear infection, but she could have fluid in there, which would affect her hearing, and in turn, her speech. I dealt with that with Emma, and Sarah's already at a disadvantage for speech issues because of having Down syndrome. I want to circumvent that if at all possible.
Emma is doing wonderfully in Kindergarden. She loves school, loves her friends and her teachers. She's losing more teeth than I think should be allowed. Poor kid looks like she got into a losing fight. She has 4 spaces, her two top ones, and 2 on the bottom. She's also growing like a weed. She's so tall! She's definitely got genes from both Jeff & I. She's got long legs and a long torso. She's also so dark. Her hair has gotten very brown, and I think she's got more color in her skin than I do. She still has Jeff's bright blue eyes and she's got a smattering of cute little freckles on her nose & cheeks. She reminds me of me, when I was her age. I look at report cards from K & 1st grade, and they all say that I was very sociable with a lot of friends. That is Emma to a "T". She actually had to stay inside for 2 minutes of recess the first day back from Winter break because she was too busy talking to her friends, lol.
And Jeff, oh Jeff. He finished his fall semester with straight A's. I'm very proud of him. He works so hard for this family, I don't know how he does it sometimes. He was recently told (hush hush) that his Interim posistion of Manager will be made permanent sometime soon. He's only had the temporary position since August, and was told that they'd make a decision in about a year. But, the people in power decided that they'd seen enough of what he could do to make him permanent sooner. They still have to go through the interview process, as this is technically a state government job, because it's a state college. But, unless something drastic happens, he's going to get the job.
As for me, I'm doing well. Finally over all the virus and stuff that had invaded my body for weeks. I'm almost 19 weeks, next week will be halfway! That's actually scary to think about. Doesn't feel like I've been pregnant for 4 1/2 months. Jeff & I have been discussing baby names, and of course, we can't agree on anything we like. Plus, he's of the mindset, why not wait until we know what we're having, then we'll have less options to choose from. Because 1/2 of this arguement is going to be moot once we find out if we're having a girl or boy. Whatever.
Ok, so I think that covers everything that's happened in the last month or so. Hopefully it won't be another month before I can post again.