Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fun weekend so far!

So far, we have been having a great weekend! In addition to getting new tires on the Santa Fe (which was a lot of fun for Stephen, because he was loving looking at all of the tires and running all over the showroom), we also went to check out "school" for Stephen. We have decided to put Stephen in the Children's Day Out program at church one day a week, so he can play with other kids, and learn how to behave in a more structured setting. We also hope that this will help him with his speech and communication skills, although we anticipate that his upcoming surgery will aid in that area as well, as we have noticed a marked improvement in his speech on the days when he seems more rested. We met with the director, who showed us to Stephen's classroom. The teachers were all very pleased to learn that he is potty training, and we were all pleased to see that there was a small toilet in the room as well. Stephen seemed to feel at ease right away, and grabbed Erik's hand, dragging him all over the room to look at stuff. He also attached himself to a little girl, and kept touching her arm to get her attention. Always with the girls! The program has weekly "themes," and in this class, does a lot of work on the self-help skills that kids will need when they get into preschool. According to the schedule, last week, they were working on nose-blowing, and cooking. We were very pleased to see that Stephen seemed to fit in right away, and I will be taking in his registration materials early next week. Luckily, since we are church members, we get priority registration, and we are going to send him on a day when there is lower enrollment so that he is not overwhelmed.

Yesterday, we filled up the wading pool! It was 102 degrees for the high, and boy, did we all need to cool off! In the morning, though, Stephen and Daddy had some quality play time, during which Stephen initiated going to the bathroom twice, AND initiated some coloring time (and by time, I mean only about 10 seconds, but he's never INITIATED coloring before, because it's just not his favorite activity).

This is Stephen's new swimsuit to wear in Tucson. As you can see, it has built-in floatation in the torso. He wasn't thrilled with it, but I'm sure he'll like it more in the big pool!

Here we are playing in the pool. I was showing Stephen how to kick in the water, which he loved. He wasn't too excited about getting into the pool until I got in with him and let him sit on my lap. He also liked pushing the sides down to let the water spill out, which I assume our lawn liked as well. And behind me, you can see our green beans, Basil, and tomatoes!Stephen wanted everyone to see his new haircut. I wanted to make sure he had it done before surgery, in case he wasn't feeling up to it afterwards, so he'd be nicely groomed for our vacation!Stephen's surgery will be on Tuesday morning at 11:30 am. We are supposed to be at the hospital at 9:30, so thankfully they have a playroom in the "staging" are to distract us for a while. I'll also be taking the portable DVD player, because let's face it, sometimes the only thing that can distract a hungry toddler is Elmo. He won't be able to eat at all that morning, and can only have clear fluids until 8:30. I'll probably make him a few slushies with apple juice so it will at least SEEM like he is eating!

I'll try to update from the hospital!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As I'm sure many of you know, Stephen is quite the little mischief maker of late. Thankfully, he has gotten through his phase of throwing things in the trash can that do not belong there (shoes, sippies, toys...), and hasn't yet started getting things out of the drawers when he opens them, but he is certainly enjoying being a little stinker!

Yesterday, we went to see Erik at school, since he was done teaching summer school, and while visiting with the ladies in the deans' offices, Stephen went into one of their offices, and closed/locked the door. Luckily, we had a key, but he was just standing in there, grinning.
Since Stephen has been so tired these past couple of weeks, he has taken to closing his eyes while he is walking, or just standing still. It's funny, and sad at the same time. I was telling his therapist today about it, and Stephen decided it would be fun to just start walking around with his eyes closed! We were worried about it at first, thinking he was super tired, but then he started to giggle, and had a very mischievous smile on his face. Surprisingly, he didn't fall once, nor did he walk into any walls!

Also in PT today, we played with PlayDoh. I've been hesitant to bring it out too often because of Stephen's penchant for putting it in his mouth, but we thought it would be good for working on fine motor skills. Of course, as soon as he had his piece, it headed straight for his mouth. Erik and I stopped him of course, and helped him to imitate what his therapist was doing. He did really well! However, every so often, I would see a look in his eyes, along with that familiar troublemaker grin, as he brought it towards his mouth again. We stopped him each time, and he giggled. I don't know if he would have eaten it or not, but he was enjoying his game!

Surgery is in less than a week, and we have been practicing with his "mask," which is the same as the one he will have there to give him the gas before anesthesia. He knows just what to do, and likes to do it. Hopefully this will help him to not be nervous when the time comes.
I'll finish up with a few fun photos!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Big boy!

Stephen has now officially outgrown a second carseat. After he outgrew his infant carrier seat, we upgraded to a convertible carseat. I believe Stephen was approximately 10 months old at the time. We foolishly assumed that since Stephen was always on the smaller side, that a carseat that would accommodate him until he was 40 lbs and 40 inches would be adequate. At that time however, we were not aware of the awesome growing powers of Stephen's torso. We should have been tipped off as to what was occurring this spring, when he could no longer wear size 2T shirts without exposing his torso. Last week, we noticed that the shoulder straps on the carseat were no longer level with the top of his shoulders when he sat up straight in his carseat. The carseat instructions state that the straps should be level or ABOVE shoulder height when the carseat is facing forward, so it was time to upgrade. So, here is Stephen's new carseat!
This seat will allow him to remain safely harnessed until he weighs 65 lbs (or his shoulders get above the top holes - he has 3 more above the one the straps are in currently), and then it will convert to a high back booster seat and a backless booster to be used with the seat belt. Theoretically, he can use the booster seat until he reaches 100 lbs, but if genetics have anything to say about that, the carseat will expire before that time (carseats have a shelf-life of 6 years before the plastic might degrade, making it unsafe). We are very please with this, as is Stephen. He spent some time in the car today working on taking his cup out of the cupholder with only one hand (he couldn't reach with his left), and then putting it back. Should be very comfortable for our road trip to Tucson next month!
After dinner, we were playing ball in the family room downstairs, and Erik and I both caught something out of the corner of our eye in the backyard. We looked out into the yard in time to see a duck landing on the lawn. So all 3 of us ran out onto the back porch to catch this photo. Stephen was more entertained by his parents quacking at the duck than the "bup" (Stephen's word for duck) itself, but it was certainly an interesting event, and a fun way to end our day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I should clarify...

It was pointed out to me that I didn't clarify what surgery Stephen would be having (thanks, Mom!). Stephen will be having his tonsils and adenoids removed in order to stop the sleep apnea. Afterwards, he will have 2 weeks of a soft diet (milkshakes, here we come!), and restricted activity. He will have a follow-up visit a month afterwards if there are any issues, but hopefully there won't be. Next weekend, we are going to go look for a few new toys that Stephen can have to keep him occupied and sitting, as too much activity can apparently cause bleeding (YIKES!), and we will be watching a lot of Elmo, Backyardigans, Dora, and movies. Overall, not a big deal, and it will be a huge help for him!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some news you can use!

Yesterday afternoon, the three of us headed off to take care of some business, and while we were at our location, Stephen discovered doors with lever handles. We don't have any of those in our house, so he hasn't seen them often. Well, yesterday, he figured them out. He watched what we were doing, walked right up to the door, opened it, and went out into the hallway. This, of course, became quite the entertaining game - not just for Stephen, but for everyone there!

This behavior continued later that afternoon when we headed back to the ENT to discuss the sleep study results. Unfortunately, we had to wait quite a while to be seen, so once we got into the exam room, Stephen was continually trying to (and occasionally succeeding in) escape out into the hallway! The nurses were quite amused, especially the times when he would take off RUNNING down the hallway!

But, on to more interesting things... the results! I'd posted before that Stephen's sleep study showed mild, obstructive sleep apnea. According to the study, Stephen was averaging 4 apnea episodes per hour while there. An apnea episode is either when the person stops breathing for 10 seconds, or their oxygen levels drop below 92%. It is considered mild when that number is between 1 and 4, so Stephen is bordering on Moderate apnea. At any rate, when the doctor finally came in, he started talking about surgery being the best option, and Erik and I jumped at that! We know that surgery will be difficult for our little guy, but the outcome will have such a positive impact on his life. Soooooo, surgery is scheduled for June 30. I'm hoping to have a specialist from the hospital talk to Stephen a little bit a couple of days beforehand, in the hopes that it will help him to not be quite so afraid. At the very least, we are hoping that we can all get a tour of where we will be staying, because we have to stay overnight. Even though it is an outpatient surgery, since Stephen is under 3, we have to stay over.

Today, Stephen had PT. He thoroughly impressed his therapist with his ability to manipulate puzzle pieces at a skill level much higher than his age, and we taught him today how to kick a ball. He also picked that up really quickly. As well as he did with this, I can only imagine how much more quickly he will progress and learn new skills when he feels rested!

This picture is from a trip to the zoo on Saturday with Stephen's "Grandma" Kat (a friend from when I was working). We don't get a lot of pictures of the two of us, so this one is a keeper!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flashback Friday!

These were taken about 2 years apart. Amazing, isn't it? I LOVE IT!
(yes, technically I'm posting on Thursday night, and I should be in bed, but that's another story)