Thursday, March 20

A Day Out

This past Sunday we took advantage of the nice weather and had an afternoon outing to the Knoxville Zoo. Kate was experiencing cabin fever from the rain and cold and not being able to play outside. I think Angela may have had a little cabin fever as well. We had a nice time and most of the animals were out, although many were sleeping. Here are a few pictures. None of James, as he was taking the pictures, and none of Owen, as he slept in his stroller the whole time (the boy can sleep when he is in his car seat). I think Kate may have enjoyed the carousel in the Kid's area more than the animals. It was neat for her to actually see some of the animals she hears about when watching "Diego" on TV and to hear her tell us which animals she likes or dislikes and why. You never know what you are going to hear with a two-year old.

Tuesday, March 18

Jesus is Alive!

This month's memory verse for Kate's Mother's Day Out program is "Jesus is Alive". The other day when I picked Kate up from MDO, the director told me Kate has really been coming out of her shell and had even volunteered to go up front in circle time and recite the memory verse into the microphone. Last month, she kept saying "God is love" and now, for the past few days, Kate has been going around saying "Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!" I got onto her at lunch today because she wouldn't stay in her seat and she was in the middle of the kitchen, dancing in circles, singing "Jesus is alive!" She said, "Mommy, I just singing Jesus is alive!" Later, I felt badly that I had missed an opportunity to discuss and worship with my child about Jesus. May we all seize every opportunity to rejoice about the miracle of Easter. Jesus is alive!!! May you have a blessed Easter.

Friday, March 14

Packin' on the pounds!

Ok, so it's only a little more than a pound, but today Owen had gained 21 ounces in 16 days! They look for 1/2 to 1 ounce of weight gain per day at this age, and he has gained over an ounce a day and is now 12 pounds 1/2 ounce. Yeah! You should have seen the smile on my face when I saw the number 12 on that scale! We really needed a positive outcome from today's doctor visit. I've been trying to be positive and shrug off all of the issues we've been dealing with, but it's just getting old and I needed something good to happen. The nurse even called later with the results of his blood work (things looked good there too) and told me congratulations for a good visit - they could tell I needed it to go well and they've been great. Hopefully, we'll just keep giving Owen a bottle after he nurses and he'll keep gaining (if he even keeps nursing - the bottle is so much less work... lazy baby!) . He's even starting to get rounder cheeks and a slight crease in his thighs, so I know he's putting on a little fat. Let's hope he keeps it up! Thanks for all of your continued prayers. We have upcoming visits from the Tennessee Early Intervention System (to evaluate his development based on his hearing loss and develop a family service plan) and will go March 31 to pick up his first hearing aids, so that will be a whole new world we'll enter into soon.

Tuesday, March 11

Making a warship and other fun things...

Kate is starting to play a lot more on her own these days. She will go play by herself in her room or bring toys out to the living room to play. I know this isn't anything special, but it's progress for us as I can't constantly entertain her with Owen. I think she has an imaginary friend, or else it's just someone to refer to when she's playing. Her name is "Beya" - I'm not really sure how to spell it, but that's how it sounds. We hosted our small group this weekend and there were three girls here playing with Kate. She really enjoyed having friends over to play (we haven't done much of that lately). At one point, they were all playing downstairs where we have the kitchen things and the music-making toys and I went to check on them. kate was standing at one end of the room playing her guitar and singing to the other girls (who weren't paying any attention). Later I asked what they played downstairs and Kate told me "I make warship". I finally figured out that she was saying "worship" and that she was singing like she was leading worship. She loves to come with us into church and watch the people up front play piano, drums, and guitar. Her favorite things to play with are blocks or anything she can put in a box, bag, or pocket or line up together. Here is a picture of the "train" of toys she made while James and I were cleaning the house on Saturday. Very left-brained.

Saturday, March 8

Trip to Nana's

Last weekend we finally ventured out of the state on our first road trip with Owen and our first road trip in the Odyssey minivan we got in January (yes we are no longer cool and hip, like we were before).
For this monumental trip we made a long over due visit to Nana and Grandfather's house in North Carolina. This also provided a chance for GG (great grandmother, James' aunt and uncle Martha and David, James' cousin Robin and her kids Frankie and Shelly Jane to meet Owen. It was an eventful time with both the grandchildren all and great grandchildren together with GG. Kate enjoyed playing with someone actually smaller than her and was really sweet with Shelly Jane. She was good about sharing her blocks and playing gentle. Grandfather took advantage of the visit and showed Kate his classroom where he is a TA at Davis Drive Elementary School. Kate was impressed with all the artwork and told James she was ready to go to big school. She also enjoyed both the playground at the school and the playground across the street at the local park. These were two of the three playgrounds she visited during here two days in Cary (I am sure that had nothing to do with the fact that Grandfather is on the Cary Parks and Recreation board). On the way home from Cary we even got to stop in Bristol, VA for ice cream from Dairy Queen (this was actually mom's request, not Kate's and a run in the park. It was a great first trip with Owen and the van (which sure beat making the 6+ hour trip in the Subaru). {Note there is another new post below}

Thursday, March 6

Clean Slate For Now

I wanted to post an update on last Thursday's day of testing. The CT scan revealed what we already knew, Owen has "crazy small" ear canals. This may contribute to his hearing difficulties, but he still has some mild hearing loss not associated with this that will require hearing aids. Angela and Owen went to UT on Thursday and had ear molds made for the hearing aids which will be fitted later this month. The blood work for both the ENT doctor and our pediatrician all came back normal. So it does not appear that his hearing loss is linked to any other problems or conditions and his lack of weight gain may just be due to him not getting enough calories. Hopefully the addition a bottle to his feeding regimen will add the needed calories to his diet and we will see a marked increase at his next weight check next Friday. The sweat chloride test for cystic fibrosis also came back negative. So overall, all the testing came back with positive results and we are blessed to have a pretty healthy but hungry little boy with some mild hearing problems that can be corrected with modern technology. Thanks for your prayers and support during this time. Hopefully we can get some new pictures posted soon.

Saturday, March 1

A week of medical attention

Well, in my last post (before James's cheering blog), I posted some news about Owen and prematurely said he was gaining weight. I should have said he had gained weight the last time he was checked. This Wednesday he had another weight check and had gained very little in two weeks and has just about dropped off all of the growth charts. He was 10 lb 9 oz (I know several of you are commenting to yourselves that your babies weighed nearly that at birth! let alone at 3 months). Consequently, we are feeding him a bottle after he nurses and he is taking a significant amount that way. He just isn't good at breast feeding and maybe that has decreased my supply so that he's now not getting enough nourishment. Hopefully increasing his calorie intake will fix the problem and he'll start gaining again. The doctor also ordered some labwork to be done to see if there are any metabolic or absorptive issues contributing.

Thursday we had a big day at the hospital. Owen's ENT doctor had ordered a CT scan and some bloodwork (so, if you're keeping track, that's now two physicians ordering bloodwork from a 10 lb body). We showed up at Children's at 9 AM for the CT. They told us he couldn't eat for 4 hours prior to the scan in case they needed to sedate him. But, they ended up having us get him to sleep and, thankfully, they successfully ran the scan unsedated. That was a big relief! Once the CT scan was completed, they shuffled us over to the lab for his sweat chloride test and bloodwork. The sweat chloride test involves applying a heat stimulus to the skin on his arm and then capturing his sweat on a piece of gauze after 30 minutes. After that test they drew blood and, with several tries, they were able to draw enough from his tiny veins to run all of the tests that had been ordered. The only thing that didn't work out was his urine sample, which we had to collect at home and bring by the lab the next day.

It was a busy, tiring, and stressful day. Kate spent the day with Ms. Tiffany, whom she loves, but was tired and vying for our attention when we brought her home. It was tough on her, too. But, we're spending the weekend at Nana and Grandfather's house in North Carolina (that's fun to hear her say!), so she's getting lots of extra attention.

All this and we haven't even had any appointments for hearing aid fittings, etc. yet. But, it's good to know that we are on track to start getting some answers and Owen is a beautiful little little boy who's full of smiles and loves to be cuddled. I'm so thankful for him!