Monday, August 20, 2012

Eli's First Day at Kinder Care

Today was Eli's first day in daycare. Eric and I were both incredibly nervous. I woke up at 1:30 this morning, unable to sleep. The anticipation and nervousness was getting me.  I don't handle change well :) The whole drive out to the daycare I was fighting back the tears. You know the ones that make it hard to breathe. I just couldn't imagine how they were going to be able to handle Eli's needs.

Eric and I talked to several facilities and finally decided on Kinder Care in Blue Ash after our visit there. They really impressed us with their willingness to accommodate Eli's physical needs. They didn't even flinch when we asked them how they would handle his medical and physical needs. The best part about was, after talking to Eli's physical therapist, we found out she sends her kids to the same facility. She is going to be able to stop in and work with Eli in the mornings after she drops her kids off!

Totally. Awesome. Gods hands are all over this baby. I'm sure of it! Things like this are no coincidence.

Even with all the wonderful things we were hearing about Kinder Care, and knowing that Eli was going to continue to get physical therapy during the day while I was at work, all the what if's started rolling through my head. What if Eli freaks out and cries all day, what if they can't get his braces on right and they damage his feet, what if they leave him sit all day and he looses all the progress he has made all summer... what if, what if... I admit, it was a little crazy :)

Just got out of the car and looking brave :)

Ready to go in and not too sure about all of this! He looked how I was feeling lol

When Eli got up to the door to his classroom we were greeted by this:

My heart swelled! Something so simple made me feel so good inside :) They thought my baby was special enough to put a welcome sign on the door :) I gave the head teacher the crash course on Eli's braces and probably told them a million times to call me if they had any problems getting the braces on (poor ladies :))!

I swore I wasn't going to be "that mom" but there I was, being the overly protective, crazy lady in the room, lol.

I kissed my baby goodbye about ten times, walked out the door, and choked back the tears until I got in the car. Thank God for waterproof makeup :)

I managed to make it through the day without calling to check on the little man but as soon as the clock hit 3:30, I was out the door! I could not wait to see Eli!

I was greeted at the door by the head of the location and she told me that Eli had a good day. She said, he cried a bit and seemed to be missing us but that was to be expected. My heart broke :(

I finally got down to the classroom and burst in the door to see my little man. I was so excited to see his face when he saw me. What did I find? Eli fast asleep, in his accommodated crib (totally awesome!), with his braces perfectly on his feet! The head teacher in the room took the time to train everyone who would come in contact with Eli on how to put his braces on! I almost broke down right there! Eli really does have teachers who care about him. And really that all a parent wants for their kids right?

Here are a few pictures from the day:

So excited to have my baby back but he was more interested in looking at me than the camera :) I guess he did miss his momma :)

I know I am adorable Mommy!

Daddy and Eli
Eli has started climbing us these days lol
Eli LOVES his big sister!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sophie the Giraffe

As many of you know, Eli has been sick, very sick for the last two weeks. Between the ear infection, bladder infection, a few crazy viruses, and this rash, it's been quite the miserable week!

Poor little miserable man

covered head to toe :(

This week, finally, Eli started to feel better, had finished both rounds of antibiotics, and act a little bit more like himself :) I decided that would be a really good idea for Eli and I to get out of the house for a bit to do a little back to school shopping while his sister was with her Dad for the week. After all, let's be honest, shopping for a 7 year old is so much easier when they aren't with you! Ha!

Our first stop was Pottery Barn Kids. As I am looking through all their super cute Halloween items, I look down and noticed Eli had swiped a Sophie off  the strategically stroller height basket. Not only had he swiped it, he was drooling all over it!

I have heard that kids LOVE Sophie the Giraffe, but at a $23.50 price tag, she isn't really a cheap chew toy! Eli apparently was no exception!

Kids love me :)

Feeling a little sorry for my recovering baby and considering Eli had claimed Sophie as his own by spreading his drool all over it, I went ahead and bought it. Luckily, I had a PBK gift card in my wallet and only had to pay a few dollars difference and Daddy didn't have to suffer sticker shock heart failure :)

Thankfully, Eli still loves Sophie and everything else he has swiped off shelves at other stores. I guess our little man just knows what he likes!

So we want to know, have your kids ever taken things off store shelves that you were later forced to buy?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tenotomy (heel cord release surgery): What to expect

Eli had his Tenotomy last January however, with Eli being sick the last two weeks he's been unable (and a little unwilling) to wear his braces as much as he is supposed to.  Which means we've been thinking a lot about his Tenotomy.  As we have mentioned before, Eli has responded really well to the surgery. His feet look amazing but surgery is not something we really want to repeat :)

Eli went through 10 sets of casts prior to surgery. At the time we were given two options for surgery. We could do the Tenotomy in the office with local anesthetic or we could go to the hospital and have Eli asleep for the surgery. After doing some research and talking to the nurses we decided to go to the hospital and have the surgery done. We didn't want Eli to experience any more pain & stress than necessary.

The night before the surgery we were told that Eli couldn't eat past 2 am. We debated back and forth on whether we would wake him up and feed him in the middle of the night or take our chances and hope he slept through until we left for the hospital. After doing a quick survey of our Facebook friends Eric and I decided that we would wake him up and feed him in an attempt to tide him over until after surgery.

The morning of surgery came and we delicately tried to slip Eli into his car seat without waking him up. Who were we kidding?! Eli is the lightest sleeper known to man. Instead we were greeted with this adorable smile :) He was already to go!

Hi Mom! I'm ready for my new feet!
Once we got down to Children's and got checked in, it felt like a million years before they took us back to our room for Eli to be prepped. But again, Eli was a champ and may have been more relaxed that we were in the waiting room. I guess I would be too if I got to snuggle on Daddy's lap ;)

Once we got back to our room, Eli started to get a little fussy and I couldn't blame him! At that point it had nearly been two hours since we woke him up! Of course Eli wasn't the only one who was hungry, Mommy and Daddy were hungry too!

The day was saved thanks to one of our awesome nursing friends who gave us a great tip! They said to dip Eli's pacifier into Karo corn syrup before we went to the hospital. If Eli started to get fussy from hunger, give it to him. The sugar in the syrup gives babies pain relief and helps with hunger pains. It worked like a charm!

That pacifier knocked me out! Notice how his feet don't go flat and point down.
Rockin' my pink (or salmon according to my hubby) hospital gown. But we all know, real men wear pink ;)

Once we met with the doctor, anesthesiologist, and nurses one last time, it was time for Eli to be taken back to surgery. Children's was so wonderful and actually let us carry Eli back to surgery and handed me a box of tissues on the way... hahaha they must get a lot of crying Mom's and I was no exception!

Eli's surgery was very quick however we were in the waiting room for about 2 hours before they called us back to see Eli. The doctors explained that they like to make sure the babies are stable and starting to wake up before they bring families back.

All snuggled up on Mommy
Right after I handed Eli off to Daddy, Eli threw up all over everything, including Daddy! (It wouldn't be the last time he did that either!)  Eli did so well post surgery that we were discharged later that afternoon and didn't have to stay overnight in the hospital. Shew!

Look at my new flat feet!
When we got home we expected Eli to be fussy but he wasn't nearly as fussy as he had been after his previous castings which surprised us!  What we didn't expect (and sort of freaked out over!) was the blood that seeped through the heel of his cast. I immediately called the surgeon to ask if this was "normal". The nurses assured me it was normal and advised us to draw a circle with a Sharpie around the blood spot. If it expanded past that circle over the next few hours/days to give them a call. Of course we were worried for nothing. Not a thing changed on his casts :)

The whole experience was probably harder on Mom and Dad than it was on Eli.  He responded really well to the whole thing, and it showed us just how patient and enduring he could be.

So for all those parents about to take their child to have a Tenotomy, just know that it is survivable.  That your baby will respond (hopefully as well as Eli).  And that it's all worth it. 

But we definitely don't ever want to go through it again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eli's Rough Week

There are things that are simply impossible to prepare for.  Those moments in time that no matter what you think or know, reality is somehow different.  Mostly this is called parenting.

There has been nothing that's prepared me for what it's like to watch Eli be sick.  As hard as it's been to deal with club foot, in some ways, Eli being sick is worse.

Pittsburgh, city of champions, and the Pirates
It all started last Thursday when Eli started to get fussy.  We didn't really think too much of this.  He sometimes gets annoyed that he has to wear braces to bed.  Let's face it, who wouldn't?  And in typical Eli fashion, he waited to start crying until a few minutes after I left to go to the Jimmy Buffett concert.  Which meant Heather was with him for a solid 6 hours to listen to his crying.  Not easy. 

When I (finally) got home, I took over while Heather rested (well rested as much as you can when a 9-month-old baby is screaming at the top of his lungs.)  Usually Eli is pretty happy if he's moving.  So I tried to walk him around the house.  This didn't work, so I immediately escalated to Defcon 2.  Otherwise known as "going for a drive."

I drove Eli around town not once, not twice, but 4 separate times.  During that time we learned a few things.  First, Eli only likes highway driving, not city road driving.  Every time I slowed down for a light, he would wake up.  Secondly, there are a lot of scary cars on the road at 3 AM.

By the time I realized driving wasn't going to work (4 AM) I was starting to realize something more serious than a cranky, overly-tired baby was going on.  And that's when I picked him up and for the first time felt his fever.

Day 1: At the doctors
It was a warm 102, high, but not not outlandish for a baby.  My first thought was that he was simply sick.  But it was late, and he was finally ready to go to sleep.  The next morning (which was really only about 2 hours away) Heather scheduled a doctor's visit for Eli.  We expected to learn he was simply "sick."  Turns out he had a full blown ear infection.  His first.  And let me tell you it's a lot less fun than it sounds.

We were happy though.  We knew what the problem was, got Eli on antibiotics, and he was clearly turning the corner.

Things looked good.  Until Sunday when the wheels came off.  Eli's fever spiked over 103 degrees.  So while Isabel slept, Heather took Eli to Children's hospital.  Where they told us (after a VERY long wait) that Eli not only had an ear infection, but a bladder infection and a sore throat initially diagnosed as Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease.

Since then Eli has only slept a few hours, and eaten even less.  He's miserable.  And exhausted.  And hungry, but in too much pain to eat or drink.  In fact you can see just how much weight he lost between "Day 1" and "Day 4."

Day 4: "Mommy, I don't feel so good..."
The good news is that after 5 days of all this misery, he seems to be turning a bit of a corner.  After another rough night, Eli was willing to take some milk and food this morning.  We still have a long way to go, but for the first time since Thursday, Eli seems to be moving in the right direction.

A new toy makes everything better though!