Monday, July 30, 2007

Update on Malachi


He seems to be doing much better. His crabbiness was apparently unrelated to the switch in meds. We can blame it on a virus. By Friday morning he was running a low-grade temp, and later added symptoms of a runny nose and a quiet cough. He still is struggling with the runny nose (as are Josh, Micah, and Eden).
No update on the house.
Pressing on...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Peanut Butter in My Ice Cream and Grace Under Fire

What do those two things have to do with each other? Nothing. Except that I am relishing a little of both this evening.

A couple weeks ago I had an idea. I like Reeses Peanut Butter cups A LOT. I really like them in my ice cream. I didn't have any, but I had some vanilla ice cream. I decided, "Why can't I just put plain old peanut butter into my vanilla ice cream and put chocolate syrup on top?" I worried that the flavor might be a little "off" but even though I'm reluctant to try new things, the craving took me and I carefully put some peanut butter on the side of my dish. Yum. It was great.

There are all kinds of ways I can think of to apply this to real life, but I'm not going to. I'm going to type in between bites while I enjoy my dessert.

We were happy to attend the dvd premiere of Grace Under Fire tonight. This is the movie that Mitch got to star in two years ago. The director of the film has done a re-edit of the film and it is finally out on dvd--yay! For all my long distance friends and family who have wanted and waited to see this film, you can now purchase a copy (it is a good amateur film) here: http://www.tenletterproductions.com/ (under TLP store). I just checked and they have a "preorder dvd" and I'm sure they'll change that in a few days. At any rate, the dvd's are in their hands and they will ship as soon as you buy.

We went to this showing of the movie tonight somewhat reluctantly. It had been a long day. We had another open house, so we had spent all morning cleaning. Then we had to escape into the heat for 2 hours. I didn't know if I wanted to drag everyone out, pay $2.50 per head, to see a movie we had all seen before. But Michael called us and said we needed to come, so we did. After the movie they had some acknowledgements/announcements. I thought they were going to show outtakes. Instead, they had a slideshow tribute to Mitch and our family. I cried right out from the first picture to the last. They played a "goodbye" song. Oh man, it touched me deep into my heart. They called us up to pray for us. I felt like such a goat for wrestling with the whopping $2.50 door fee. Sigh.

I don't know if the awesome slideshow is included on the dvd...somehow I don't think it would be...but the film is great. The sound and quality issues that it had before are completely corrected. I look forward to seeing the films that the boys crank out in the future. Oh yeah, if you want to watch a trailer for the movie, you can see that here: http://www.gufmovie.com/

So...house update...nothing yet. We received the review back from the showing last weekend. They rated the interior: good, exterior: good, staging: fair, price appropriate? yes, but said they did not like the floor plan. We didn't get back in time to talk to the realtor today after the open house, but I assume that no one stopped by. If anyone did, I guess he'll send me a report next week. We are still praying. God will make a way, and all glory will belong to Him! I never fully understood the emotional struggle that selling a house and moving so far could be. I would be crushed were it not for God's grace. Grace under fire.

At least I didn't allude it to peanut butter... =)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Malachi's weird position

So this is it--one of the funny positions that Malachi likes to work himself into. A few minutes ago (just so you know he has not been sleeping like this for hours), I heard him wake up a bit and squirm around. He also filled his pants. ;-) So I finished up computer stuff and went to get him. I just HAD to take a picture to share with everyone. Now I'm gonna go get him and clean his butt (even though he is sound asleep again). Wish me luck at getting him back to sleep before midnight!!


Doesn't that look uncomfortable??
p.s. I read on the American Academy of Pediatrics website that it is ok to mix a little sugar with meds to help them taste better. I know that he will get used to it in time, but I thought that a little sugar wouldn't hurt either. His meds went down much better today, but he was still a real crab. His nursing schedule is off too--he seemed to want to "snack" rather than eat--so we'll see if tomorrow will be any better with a down day at home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A mini get-away vacation

We had a relaxing (almost) weekend camping with friends in southern Minnesota this weekend. I hope to put up pictures or a slideshow soon. We camped at Whitewater State Park. We enjoyed hiking, swimming/wading, park activities, and relaxing around the campfire. We did a LOT of cooking and cleaning up it seemed. Oh and chasing kids too. We arrived at camp on Thursday. It was a 3-hour trip down there, so by the time we loaded our van, drove down, and set up camp, the day was pretty much shot. Friday was a hiking/exploring day. We went up to the nature center Friday night for a snake class. A ranger there had a bull snake and a rattle snake, plus a slideshow and tons of information. It was fun. Saturday our groups split into two. One group headed further south to visit caves and a town full of reinactors from the 19th century. Our group stayed at the park for a scavenger hunt, then we went to the Marnach house which was celebrating its 150th anniversary. We got to ride a hay wagon pulled by a tractor 1.6 miles back to the house. It was absolutely astounding to ride 1.6 miles through nothing but cornfields, trees, and hills. After coming back, we decided to venture up to the Elba Fire Tower. Unfortunately, not only were there lots of stairs up the tower, there were lots of stairs up the tall, tall hill to get to the fire tower. I made it about 1/4th of the way up, then found a bench where I decided I needed to sit and nurse the baby until they came back down. I'm sure I could have made it up, but I knew what my legs would feel like when I got back down and why did I want to torture myself? I enjoyed the quiet sounds of the woods and got to sit and watch a woodpecker at work only about 10 feet away from me the whole time. Then we went back to camp. There was another large group from a church in St. Paul camping there as well, and we basically took over the "Gooseberry Glenn" campsites. :) Mitch learned to play Kubb with these new friends, and he came home and got the supplies right away and already has made his own Kubb game. We enjoyed a small worship service with this group Sunday morning before packing up camp and coming home.

While we were gone our house had its first showing. We have not heard any word on what these people thought of our house. It sure would be nice to have some feedback. There is no other news in the house realm. Last week we were sure that we were all going to move to Texas and rent something. Then we decided maybe not, but Mitch was sure he was going to go to Houston this week to "drive around." And now we have decided "not" on that too. We don't know what we are going to do. It's so frustrating!

We have a whirlwind week this week. I am getting all the kids into the doctor and dentist for their checkups, so that finding a new doctor won't have to be number one on our list when we get to Tx. The running to appointments stuff is wearing me thin. But my doctor (the one who delivered Malachi) was really encouraging to me today when I was in for my 6-week postpartum checkup. She said, "You could get a call tomorrow and your house could sell, and then all of a sudden your problem will switch to being 'oh my goodness, now we have to find a place to rent for a month!'" She is right--it can happen SO fast. We are not "out of time" yet. God has something perfect planned.

Malachi's meds seem to be helping him. We forgot to give him his meds one night while camping, and oh boy the next morning did he let us know it! If there were ever any doubt... I mentioned before that insurance does not cover the Prevacid that the doctor prescribed. So I picked up his meds, which insurance does cover, this week. It is called omeprazole. I found it VERY strange that all the pharmacy did was hand me the meds--no insert, drug information, nothing. Grrr. I will look it up online I guess. Also, we are going from a drug which tastes wonderful to this drug that tastes soooo nasty. The poor boy gags and chokes whenever I give it to him--and I give it very slowly. It is so sad. :( Can you tell I am not happy about this? I should find out how much prevacid costs and see if we can afford to just buy it. Even though I still have some samples left, I went ahead and switched him to the omeprazole so that when he sees the doc next week for his 2-month checkup I can let her know if it's working or not. So far today (his first day on it), I don't think he's doing as well. He is still seeing the chiropractor, and he is pleased with how Malachi's neck muscles are staying relaxed and how well he does with the "stretching." Malachi still does this weird arching thing and insists that he twist his head into a funny position--facing to the right--and I've been doing some research on it. The doctor mentioned it, and I had read about it online, but there is a condition called "Sandifer's Syndrome" and I believe that Malachi *could* be exhibiting this. Some descriptions I have read really sound like Malachi, however some that I have read sound similar to seizures which do not describe Malachi's position. Regardless, everyone says that if it is Sandifer's, then it is a reaction to the reflux and treating the reflux will relieve the symptoms of Sandifer's. I guess the worst thing about Sandifer's is that if it looks like seizures then it can really scare some parents, and then they have to do EEG's, etc, to make sure it's not.

It is so weird to look at him in his little positions. When he is laying on his side, he will sometimes rotate his head so far back that his spine is curved into a "C." This weekend he was sleeping unbuckled in the carseat, and he somehow wiggled himself around (while sleeping, not fussing!) so that his ear was almost down to his knee. I about died when I saw him this way, and I woke him up immediately--it was scary, but he didn't seem to care a bit. After he has eaten, he likes to be held upright, his tummy to my tummy, with his head leaned way back into my hand. I thought that all my babies did this, but now I see that he does it much more pronounced than the other kids did, and I don't recall any of them really doing it for this long. He is very strong--a good "kicker and flailer"--and also holds his head up when he is on his tummy. He can easily roll over from tummy to back, and he can almost get over the other way too because of the way he curves his head back. Funny boy! None of it is really scary (other than the carseat incident), but there's always this nagging mom thing of wanting to make sure nothing is really wrong. I'm sure he will be just fine. At least we are now able to put him in the swing--before he went on meds, he refused and cried every time we put him in there. Isn't that strange?

Pictures to come!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Woodwork

Sometime ago we were able to narrow our work left down to three major projects and a bunch of minor things. I am happy to say that we have narrowed the work left down to only minor "have to" things and still a bunch of other "would like to" things (which we may never get to, but that's ok). I am so proud of the work Mitch has done on these 3 major projects, and I thought I would showcase them here. :)

Closet before...

Closet afterwards...

Electrical box in the bedroom before...

Electrical box in the bedroom after...


Vanity in the bathroom (love the warm color of the pine, plus the blue top that ties into the master bedroom)...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Appointment Update

This is one-handed typing, so will be short. :)

Malachi had another chiro appt yesterday a.m., then an appt with our family doctor in the afternoon. The chiro says he is working on keeping "fluid motion" rather than alignment (fluid as an adjective, not to be confused with feeding). He wants to see him again Friday a.m.

The doc appt was pretty exciting. I love our doctor!! Anyways my darling boy tipped the scales at 13 lbs 1 oz, and 23.5 in long. That's the 95th percentile for a 1-mo old! I fed him just before the appt so she could see him in his refluxing state. He even spit up a little for her, but mainly just did his normal "complaining." She said that she doesn't always treat reflux, but that she will treat him. She believes that he may be overeating because of the reflux...swallowing helps it feel better, so he keeps eating when he is not hungry because it helps him feel better (at least for a while). Treating reflux will NOT stop the spit up. It will neutralize the acids so that it doesn't hurt anymore. It will take a week or so for his esophagus (sp?) to heal and for us to tell if the med is working. She warned me that some babies are just fussy for no reason and then got smart with me and said "you've never really had a fussy baby." LOL...was that a compliment? Good thing I love her! She said zantac is the med of choice, but it tastes nasty and she usually ends up switching to a once-a-day med because that is easier to give. So she grabbed me some prevacid samples and wrote a prescription. My insurance doesn't cover it, unfortunately, so we will have to see if she goes with the generic or not. The lozenges have to be dissolved and fed by syringe to the baby, so that was interesting the first time!! =S

I'll keep you posted on how he responds to the treatment. :) Right now he is fussing again...

Monday, July 09, 2007

I scheduled an appointment for Malachi with his family doctor for Wednesday afternoon. I was desperate to take any available appointment she had this week. I think the receptionist was just being sweet and somehow fit me in. [whew] One of the two of us seemed to have a tougher day today. Either he did or it was me making a mountain out of a molehill. He is, afterall, a baby. I am glad he is sleeping now, and I should be too, but it is so tempting to finally get everything done in the quiet of the night that I didn't get done earlier today.

Tomorrow could be a fun day. Betty Lou (our realtor) called and asked if she could bring the realtors from their home office by to walk through our house quick in the am. She said it will take 10 min and we wouldn't have to leave. I said, "Sure. But if we don't leave they will certainly never forget us!" We chuckled together at the thought. I can see it now--they will have 5 great tour guides leading them through the house showing them all of their favorite features. Well here comes the really fun part--she then told me the time they would be coming over--"sometime after 10." Oh great--Micah invited several (not just one) friends over from 10 to 2 tomorrow. Yep, they will never forget us. Let's hope that is a good thing and that the memories are funny ones!! =)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Been Busy...

Well, we finished up a whirlwind week of running around. The kids had VBS that week, which really led to some back and forth carpooling. Then on the weekend (June 30th), Mitch's mom and step-dad came to visit from Kentucky and Mitch's step brother got married. The wedding was really fun and lasted two days. I enjoyed visiting with my inlaws and extended family. The only faux pas that I noticed was that we managed to show up 30 min late for the professional "family" photo. I had taken great pains to make sure all 8 of us were dressed in our best. Unfortunately, I noticed all too late (after the photo) that Zeke (my adorable curly blonde haired guy) was wearing white socks and spider man sandals. Yikes!! I sure hope the bride enjoys a laugh about that...in a few years. Since we were all dressed up for what will probably be the last time this summer, I got Mitch's sister Holly to snap a picture of the 8 of us.





The next week was spent busily working on the house to get it more finished. The days are flying by at lightening speed and I'm afraid we're going to run out of time. Wednesday was the 4th of July and we had a cookout at our house with a lively assortment of friends (most of whom didn't know each other, and several didn't even know us!). It was a lot of fun, as I always enjoy hosting. We had a literal feast. The fireworks went on down at the Mississippi river, and as always, we climbed down to sit on the precariously steep bank. And once more I grumbled and complained that the trees were going to be in the way and I would not get any good pictures. My heart stopped once or twice as a couple of the kids would get too far out of reach. Turns out I was right that the trees were in the way, but I did take over 130 photos, some of which are quite good. :) With a smart digital camera you do get lucky once in a while!
Now onto important matters...Malachi. It was on Tuesday that I had a pondering. Someone, a stranger, asked me that typical question, "Is he a good baby?" I felt obligated to spit out the typical answer, "Oh yes," while smiling that angelic glowing new-mom smile. Then I darkened. "Well, he's a baby." And I didn't stop there. I kept going. "He wakes up, cries, eats, cries, and goes back to sleep. He sleeps really good. But I don't know that I enjoy the crying so much. But I love him. So I guess I don't really know how to answer the question." She said, "No, that's a good answer, I understand." But I still didn't shut up...I continued to ramble on until it was obvious that I had really lost my mind. lol. So on Wednesday I asked Mitch, "Do you think Malachi is a good baby?" He said no. I asked "Does he cry more than the others did?" He said yes. So I spent the next 24 hours grieving this. I am supermom afterall (nevermind me denying it in a previous post), and all my babies are GREAT babies!!! What is this? Is he really a "bad" baby or has amnesia set in? Have I blissfully blocked painful memories of holding other crying babies, or is this really a problem for Malachi? I booked him an appointment with the chiropractor and watched him like a hawk. He loves to lay with his neck tilted back, way back. He completely relaxes that way. When he is fussy, he likes to be carried that way. So we saw the chiro. No change and no major problems, but bring him back next week (still confused on why). Sigh.
My diagnosis after observation and research? He definitely has reflux. He has "silent reflux" because most of the time he does not spit up, and if he does it is a tiny amount or it comes out his nose instead. He frequently burps, swallows, and gets the hiccups, or burps, swallows, grimaces, then lets out a wail. He cries the entire time he is awake and either not nursing or not being actively carried and "shushed." Now that his awake periods are getting longer, this is a real problem for both of us. He is not happy and I'm not getting a thing done. That's why I don't blog or reply to emails...it's awfully hard to hold a crying baby and type, even one-handed. But I do read. Thank God he does sleep, but those precious hours are spent "catching up."
So here is the dilema...do I take him to the doctor this week or just wait (painfully) until August 2nd? I feel awful going in there to the doctor already with my diagnosis in hand, because I always feel ashamed when her opinion differs from mine. There are several reasons for her to disagree that he needs medication to treat the reflux--one, he is nice and healthy and round (gaining plenty of weight), and two he sleeps really well. However, I can't just sit back and watch this get worse (and it does appear, from my biased standpoint, to be getting worse). There are some things that I can go ahead and do on my own, and I have already implemented these. I found a very helpful website: http://www.pollywogbaby.com/refluxandcolic/max.html. I'll have to keep you posted on this one. Pray for us!
No news on the house yet (biting my fingernails) and no showings. We had an open house on very short notice on Saturday. No one came, but it was a great dry run for all of us! We need lots of prayer on this one. The sermon at church today was excellent (was on Psalm 31), and in perfect timing for us. I'd love to tell you more about it, but my poor refluxing baby insists that I take a walk with him now.
Oh, I forgot to say that on Friday morning my grandmother passed from this world. A beautiful, strong woman, she was always a godly example of a wife and mother. This is a time that has been shadowed with many regrets for me, but I am reminded to take hope in the thought that we will be reunited in heaven some day soon and if there is still the need to say some things then we will have time. :)
(((Hugs)))