Saturday, July 31, 2010

Haircuts

Both boys got haircuts today. Not a big deal except this was Gaines' 1st haircut. Below are some before and after pictures. There is also a video posted below of Reed playing his keyboard...he calls it "putting on a show".


This is Gaines before the haircut (notice the curls).





The two pictures beloware after the haircut. He looks so much older.







Reed putting on a show.

video

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back To Reality

Beau and I left last Thursday headed for Texas for the wedding of a close friend of his that I've grown to love. We had a wonderful time and had a nice break from home. Three mornings of sleeping late, meals where you can have an actual conversation, reading magazines by the pool, exploring a fun city, shopping without a purpose...so nice. Obviously I was super excited to see my boys Sunday afternoon but the breaks from reality are not lost on me. I appreciate every moment. A huge thanks to my parents who came to Montgomery and kept the boys while we were away. From what I understand, Reed was an angel and Gaines was Gaines...a handful....a precious and loving handful, but a handful nonetheless. He's just non-stop and "spunky".


I had the boys to myself tonight while Beau was working and it was so neat to watch them with each other. Reed would be playing with something and Gaines would be right there beside him trying to get into whatever it was. I go back and forth on trying to teach Reed to share and trying to teach Gaines that he cannot have everything he wants the minute he wants it.

And I tell you...Gaines has gotten himself a little attitude lately. He is as pleasant as can be as long as he's doing what he wants but if you try and keep him away from a puzzle Reed is working on or out of the dishwasher or whatever, he starts these sort of convulsing fits. I have to just lay him gently on the floor and walk away. I guess that's the best thing to do about them at this point.

He's a pretty determined little fellow too. Don't think if you tell him no one time that it's going to work. He'll try something 100 times. I can't decide if this little streak he's on lately is from no real structure in his day (ie, the world revolves around Gaines), if its a second child thing, or if Reed was the same way and I've just forgotten that they grow out of it. I'm hoping its the latter.

Other than all of that, Gaines is doing awesome. He is so fun lately and has the biggest smile. He'll come crawling around the corner and get this huge grin on his face when he sees you. He gives you the biggest hug everytime you pick him up. He plays so well and I can see him kind of transitioning from baby to a little more on Reed's playing field. He jabbers and talks a good bit. We get a lot of "Jack" and "Bye"...some "Dada"...still no "Mama". I feel like I hear him repeating lots of words but unless I hear it consistently I don't count it. Like, I think I hear something similar to bottle sometimes and I swear he said "Out" when he was ready to get out of the tub tonight.

Reed has been pretty angelic lately. I swear he's such a good boy. I get frustrated with him from time to time but all in all...he's just a good child. Or maybe that's just compared to the handful Gaines has been lately...hmm...I'll have to think on that. My poor children...they get such a bad wrap on here sometimes. Truth be told, any less than positive attitude or stubborness or I'm going to throw a fit because I can't have my own way...can be directly attributed to me. At least they get it honest.

Last night Reed and I were doing a puzzle and he said, "Give me a hamp, Mama". Of course I ask, "What's a hamp?" "A hamp. Daddy always give me a hamp". I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what I'm not connecting and it finally occurs to me...a HINT...daddy always gives him a HINT. It is so funny to me the way they misunderstand words and totally think they are saying the correct thing. Beau and I were both confused the other day when Reed kept asking for his "Nims"...what in the world are his nims? Apparently nims are an alternate pronunciation of mittens. And don't even ask what he wanted with mittens in July.

I guess that's about it for now. No real structure or point but I guess that's pretty much my style these days. We've had a crazy June and July and I am so looking forward to a non-eventful August where we can get back to real life.

Love to all,

Brittany

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gaines Update and Two Funnies (to their mama anyway)

Poor Beau. All that typing and only one little comment. If you haven’t read Beau’s post below about our crazy weekend, you should its pretty funny. I just wanted to post a quick update about the Gaineser. He gets called Gaineser fairly regularly these days. Hopefully that won’t stick but I think it kind of makes him sound larger than life…which he kind of is…he definitely thinks he is anyway.

Sorry…tangent. I took both boys to the doctor Monday morning and out of 4 ears, we had two infected and two full of fluid. Two prescriptions and two co-pays later, I think the boys are on the mend. Gaines actually slept until 6:30 this morning. Awesome. As awesome as that news is, this is the real awesome news and the reason for this quick post: Gaines weighed 18 lbs 9 oz at the doctor Monday. Granted he had on clothes and a dry diaper but those cannot weigh that much…maybe an ounce each? At his last weigh in at the end of June, he was 17 lbs 6 oz (naked). That’s more than a pound in less than a month. YAY! He is still not on the growth chart scale (even for his adjusted age of 1 year) but hopefully, if this keeps up, he’ll be in the 3rd percentile by his next official weigh in August 2. Thank you for all of your weight gain prayers and please keep them up! It was such a relief and (takes some pressure off) to see some good improvement.

I’ll try and get back to regular posting. Summer has just been so busy but I think August brings us a little break.

Oh, and to answer the two comment questions…Beau went to high school in Montgomery, his parents moved to Birmingham after he graduated. And we have no idea when Gaines will get off the oxygen. I’d hoped by now but I think the weight slump was slowing him down. I HOPE to get the ok to go to a ¼ liter at his next appointment. I think he can handle it. The doctor’s plan has been for him to get off diuretics first and then worry about oxygen but I hope that he and I can have a real heart to heart about that. I know that I’m not a pulmonologist and I do not want to risk Gaines’ health in any way but I feel like the oxygen could be holding him back in other areas like socialization, sleeping issues (he STILL sleeps in our room), some discipline things, etc.…I could be way off but, we’ll just see what we work out. Its worth a conversation to me.

Oh, and can I please just tell you something kind of funny? I try to be patient and understanding when people ask about Gaines’ oxygen, especially when it’s another child that just doesn’t understand (I have no patience for any adult that asks things like “What’s wrong with him?” That’s a good way to get punched in the face, FYI. Questions are fine, “What’s wrong with him?” is not…sorry, just had to get that off my chest). I don’t love all the questions because really, no one wants their child to be any different than any other, but I’d rather people ask so they can be informed instead of ignorant (can you tell this is a touch subject for me?). Kids are especially curious and the other day at the pool, one little boy asked, “Does that help him swim?” I had to laugh. It was just too funny to me.

One last funny thing, I’ve always told Reed how cute his little hiney is and lately he’s actually started listening. Last night I was giving Gaines a bath and Reed was taking his clothes off to get ready for his turn and he came in the bathroom and said, “Hey mama…I got a prize for you!” He then turned around and said, “Cute hiney! Cute hiney!” I just loved that his prize for me was his cute hiney.

Love to all,

Brittany

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Perfect Weekend

Brittany and I visited my family in Birmingham this past weekend. We visited her family in Andalusia a few weeks ago. The trip to Andalusia was the first time Gaines stayed any where overnight (other than a hospital). The trip to Andalusia a few weeks ago went unbelievably smooth...so we figured the trip to Birmingham would be the same. Boy were we wrong.

The trip to Birmingham started just after work on Friday afternoon. Brittany buckled both of the boys in their car seats as I loaded the car with bags, oxygen tanks, concentrators, etc. After getting everything in the car, I went back in to the house to turn on the alarm. After I set the alarm and as I was locking the front door, I heard Brittany yell "Gaines is throwing up". Great.

Brittany took Gaines in to the house to change his clothes and wipe him down while I proceeded to remove the car seat full of throw up from the car. After removing the car seat, I quickly cleaned the upholstery in the car and then switched the car seat from my car and put it into the car that was packed for Birmingham. About that time Brittany emerged from the house with a clean Gaines. We buckled Gaines in and were off to Birmingham...only 20 minutes behind schedule. Crisis averted.

Twenty minutes later we were just north of Montgomery when Reed stated he was hungry. The delay from earlier meant there was no way to make it to Birmingham for dinner so Brittany gave Reed some goldfish crackers. Gaines started to make noise as Reed was eating so my lovely wife thought "Gaines probably wants a goldfish cracker". I couldn't believe it either...she gave Gaines a cracker. And yes, with 70 miles left in our trip Gaines threw up again. In retrospect, we should have seen the signs from God and turned the car around at that very moment. But instead, we wiped Gaines down as best we could and continued our journey.

As soon as we arrived in Birmingham, my mother took Reed from the car while Brittany immediately took Gaines to the bath tub. My brother in law and step father were gracious enough to unload our bags, oxygen tanks, concentrators, etc., while I removed a second car seat full of throw up.

After getting everything in the house I went to make sure all oxygen tanks were properly stored and concentrators were working. As I sorted through all of our stuff, I thought "I wonder where the boys' bag is". I asked my brother in law where they put the big blue duffel bag. And yes, he said "What big blue duffel bag". Unbelievable...we left Gaines and Reed's bag 90 miles away in Montgomery. We had no PJ's, no clothes, no tooth brush, and then it hit me...no SAT monitor for Gaines.

For those of you who don't understand the severity of this situation, let me explain. Gaines tends to move in his sleep and sometimes wiggles the oxygen prongs out of his nose. His SAT monitor measures the oxygen saturation levels (SATS) in his blood. When he wiggles the prongs out of his nose, his SATS drop and when they drop below a certain level his monitor starts beeping. The beeping wakes Brittany and me up and we simply put the prongs back in his nose. Thus, no SAT monitor means no way of knowing if his prongs are in his nose throughout the night. So you see the predicament...we must have a SAT monitor.

We considered everything. We called our home health supplier in Montgomery to see if they had a "sister" company in Birmingham that could loan us a SAT monitor. No such luck. We called home health companies in Birmingham and explained our situation...no luck. We called Children's Hospital in Birmingham and explained the situation. The hospital suggested we call a home health company. Long story short, after various phone calls and various favors we were loaned a SAT monitor from the NICU of Brookwood Hospital.

After the trip to the Brookwood Hospital NICU to get the SAT monitor, I arrived back at my parents house around 10 PM Friday night. We hooked up the SAT monitor and immediately went to bed. We quickly discovered the SAT monitor we were given was extremely sensitive. Every time Gaines rolled over the monitor would lose its "reading" and the alarm would go off. Brittany and I got a terrible nights sleep.

Saturday was a new day and would surely be better, or so we thought. My mother and Brittany went shopping Saturday morning to buy the boys clothes (remember we left their bag in Montgomery). After shopping, we all met for lunch. Of course, we forgot to bring Gaines anything for lunch. Luckily, Brittany found some snacks in the bottom of his bag. Believe it or not, lunch was pleasant.

After lunch we took Reed and Gaines to visit my grandmother. Both boys had a great time...there are finches at my grandmother's nursing home. They loved watching the birds. Soon it was time to go and we took the boys to their cousin's 3-year old birthday party. The party was at a church gym. The kids roller skated and there was a blow up "jumpie". Everybody was having a great time when Gaines threw up. Yes, that's the 3rd of the weekend if you're keeping count. Right in the middle of the birthday party.

Long story short, we finished the birthday party, ate dinner, and were getting the boys ready for bed. After putting Gaines to sleep, I proceeded to hook up the SAT monitor. his SAT's were in the 70's. Not good. Brittany and I quickly tried everything we could think of. We switched his probe, switched the oxygen line, turned up his oxygen. Nothing worked. As a last resort before taking Gaines to a Birmingham hospital, we switched him from his concentrator to an oxygen tank. As soon as Gaines was put on the tank, his SATS were in the high 90's. Of course, a fitting end to a wonderful weekend...Gaines' concentrator was broken.

Luckily we had enough oxygen tanks to make it through Saturday night and to get home on Sunday morning. Once we were home, normalcy began to set in. Thank goodness the weekend was over.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that both boys were sick all weekend and we are taking them to the doctor first thing Monday morning.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Year Ago...

Sorry for the hiatus. I've been out of town. I had a conference in Perdido that I had to be at for a few days and once I got back...well, I really wasn't in the mood for blogging...just wanted to soak up my family. We've had quite a few developments in the last several days so I think I'll post them in a list format.

1. Gaines now has his own room. He's had his own room all along but he couldn't reach his room as his concentrator had been set up and he can't really sleep in there yet so his home base was our den. Like, his clothes and all his belongings had been stored in various hiding places in the den for almost a year so I'm pretty pumped to have all his stuff where it belongs. We did some maneuvering and now Gaines can access his own room. He can't sleep in there yet but we are actively trying to find a solution to that. I'm thinking it will involve a video baby monitor rigged up so that we can see his sat monitor. If any of you have any thoughts on video baby monitors...please let me know. They are kind of expensive and I want to make sure it will work before I actually buy one.

2. The Gaines is getting a little tough love these days on taking naps. Until the last week, he'd been held to fall asleep (naps only...he goes to bed at night well) and then he started not sleeping so great at night. Long story short, our pediatrician thinks he needs to learn to start putting himself to sleep so that he can put himself back to sleep at 4 a.m. (when he's been making up). Basically its the cry it out approach. Its not going so great at the moment...fingers crossed that if we are persistent it will pay off. He's taking little 30 and 45 minute naps and I know he not getting rested. I'm giving it another week and then we'll have to reconsider. I'm all for the tough love because Lord knows, Gaines could use a little discipline in his life but he needs to rest too. Thoughts on this one???

3. We are pretty much t.v. free at our house right now. Beau and I decided over the weekend to really cut back on it for the boys and ourselves. Reed now gets 30 minutes a day (Wonder Pets right before bed to help him wind down) and Beau and I are trying to cut back too. I like it. We actually spend time as a family...a novel concept, I know. Puzzles and books and dance parties...Reed turned on some music tonight and started dancing and wanted everyone to dance so I played along. Beau walked in right after we had done the "Go Reed, Go Reed, Go, Go, Go Reed" and the whole "Go Mama" bit so we started up with "Go Daddy, Go Daddy"...expecting Beau to join in. I wish you could have seen the look on his face. He just froze and stared at us. I know its not funny to read but it was hilarious. There was no convincing Beau to take his turn in the spotlight.

4. Did you see the sunglasses Gaines was wearing in the last post? Well, Reed fell in love with them and wore them to school every day for a week. He even told me that "glasses make you cool". Two days ago they were in the floor and I stepped on them and broke them. I put them away and prayed that he would forgot about them. That lasted until our next trip outside when he asked for his "glasses". I had to tell him they were broken and there was a whole conversation that went something like this:
R-Did I break them?
Me-I don't know...they are just broken.
R-I broke them.
Me-No you didn't baby...
R-Who broke them?
Me-It doesn't matter who broke them...they just broke.
R-I broke them (sad face here)
Me-No Reed, mama stepped on them and broke them on accident. Maybe you and I can go buy you a new pair.
R-But I only want my blue ones...
Knife in my heart. I felt terrible.

5. Reed loves baseball and got a new t-ball set this weekend. I don't know who was more excited, Beau or Reed. I know I'm his mother so I'm biased but he's really pretty good.

6. Also, can you believe that one year ago yesterday we got the phone call that Gaines was getting transferred home. That was such a good day. I cannot even tell you the weight that was lifted off of me that afternoon. I felt physically lighter. Also, tomorrow is the day that Gaines should be a year old. He's doing so awesome right now. He pushed a push toy across his room today. He's been walking on furniture sideways for a while now but this is actual one foot in front of the other. I cannot tell y'all how proud I am of that boy.

7. Gaines went to church for the first time this weekend. Technically his second time if you count his baby dedication but his first time in the nursery while we went to church and Sunday School. Yay!

Ok...I think that's about it. I'm going to try and get my assistant to post pictures soon. I'll be better about the blogging but I'm tired now. Peace out.

Brittany