Friday, November 30, 2007

Top Ten Medical Terms of 2007!

NICU - Aaron spent twelve days in the Meritcare’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after he was born. He was transferred there within 3 hours of his birth.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome – Aaron was born at 37 weeks after a fast descent delivery. Upon delivery he started to labor while breathing and was given oxygen. When examined later by the pediatrician it was decided that Aaron be transferred to the NICU. I had only held him for 10 minutes. Chris only got to hold him while carrying him to the nursery.
Surfactant – A natural soapy (fatty) substance found in mature lungs. It acts as a lubricant in the lungs to help them expand more easily and to keep the air sacs from collapsing. Artificial surfactant is occasionally given to premature babies until they are able to make their own. Aaron was given 3-4 does of this to help his lungs.
Ativan – Used to help sedate baby if needed. Aaron received this a bit while he was on the ventilator so he wouldn’t fight the tube.
CPAP and Nasal Canula – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – A small amount of continuous pressure provided by a ventilator to help keep lung sacs open while the baby breathes on their own. The baby does all the breathing on their own and the CPAP machine supports each of the baby’s breaths. Aaron was initially placed on the CPAP, but did not do well, so they moved him to the ventilator. Once he was extubated and off the ventilator he was put on oxygen through a nasal canula. He struggled on just the oxygen and was placed back on the CPAP for a few days till he could breathe better on his own.
Ventilator – A machine that provides oxygen and pressure to open air sacs of the lungs and gives a certain number of breaths every minute to help the baby breathe. Aaron was intubated at about 2 am the morning after his birth and remained on the ventilator for 4 days.
Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) – An IV solution given to babies who cannot get enough nutrition eating normally. TPN fluids contain sugar, salts, electrolytes, minerals and vitamins that your child needs to grow and heal. Aaron was on this for at least a week, till he was able to tolerate all his feedings. He received breast milk when he was able to through a feeding tube in his mouth, then one through his nose. The nasal tube was taken out the day before he was brought home. He had started eating well and gaining weight.
Torticollis – At about 3 months we noticed Aaron only liked to look to his right. We began repositioning him and keeping the interesting things to his left. At 4 months he was diagnosed with torticollis or wryneck, which is the tightening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and was sent to physical therapy.
Plagiocephaly – Aaron also developed a case of Plagiocephaly meaning oblique head. The back right side of his head had flattened due to the torticollis and a combination of being slightly preterm and on a ventilator and CPAP while in the NICU.
Cranial Cap – Dr Klava decided that Aaron had a football shaped head rather than a Charlie Brown. He prescribed helmet therapy and Aaron was fitted for a Cranial Cap. They made a casting of his head, and from the negative made him his plastic helmet, which he has been wearing for 22 hours a day since October 1st. The helmet provides gentle pressure on the areas of Aaron’s head that have grown, allowing for growth on the right side that is flat. We are generally attempting to reshape his head. We were denied coverage for Aarons helmet when we initially submitted for coverage. BSBC felt that head circumference and hair growth would either resolve or cover the plagiocephaly. A letter from Dr Klava claiming medical necessity was also met with denial. I had asked Shanna his PT for a letter for my appeal packet. Somehow it was sent to BCBS and they reviewed it and decided to pay. Of the $2,360 we don’t owe a cent!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When it rains it pours!

So as many of you know this past year has been a rollercoaster of medical issues for our family. Mainly Aaron of course. Well a couple of days ago we discovered that one of Ryan's 2 yr old molars looked like it was rotting. So we went to the dentist today to find he has weak enamel and that at least 3 of his teeth need work. So we have been referred to a pediatric dentist who will look them over and then schedule when they will be fixed. Because of his age though he will have to go to the hospital and be put under. Oh JOY! I can't tell you how thrilled I am. He apparently must be genetically predisposed to have weak enamel. Thankfully it's not from the care we have given him. I feel bad enough for Aaron's flat head!

Speaking of Aaron his article in the Forum should be published on Monday. The photographer is coming out today to take some pictures of him. Of course he is having a crabby day! We are pretty excited though about the article. We hope it will raise more awareness of plagiocephaly and how to prevent it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Don't touch my chicken!

Ryan has a prominent rooster tail most days. Depends really on how he sleeps on his hair. Well I was patting it down one day and he told me "Don't touch my chicken!"
Then yesterday he fell off the couch onto his head. Chris asked if he had hurt his head, He said, "No but I hurt my chicken!"

Friday, November 23, 2007

The great big turkey!

Chris was sitting on the couch and Ryan was crawling over him as usual. He started digging through the cushions and found a missing car. So he gets down and tells Chris to get up. "Daddy get up, get up Daddy! Don't sit there like a turkey!" Where does he get these things?

Monday, November 19, 2007


Yes, believe it or not, Katie finally got herself grounded. I went up in her room, which I try never to do, and it was a pit as usual. So I start picking up and find that she had opened this watch making kit with beads and it was all over her bedroom floor under her bed. I had asked her to wait for me to help. So I spent most of yesterday picking up little beads and crap and threw away a whole bag full of trash. SO no TV till Thurs and she loses a buck off her allowance this month. Man was I mad at her.

We started another puzzle on the table we use for holidays - as our girls and the neighbor girls call it - and I think Chris and I are the only ones that do them any more. Chris swears he hates puzzles, but I catch him doing them more than not.

Katie's dance performance went well on Sat and it is fun to see how much they have improved from the first dance performance we went too 4 years ago. Meghan of course didn't want to be there. BooHOO! Wait till she has a soccer game or something we all have to stand and watch. At least the dance performance is inside.

Aaron is loving his food these days and begs for everything we are eating. It is nice that he can eat at the table with us as a family. He is going to love Thanksgiving.

I think that's it for me today. Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Real live Mexicans!

Today I was called by both Meghan and Katie's teachers at around 2:30 or so. There are many roofing companies in town repairing roofs from the September hail storm we had in Fargo. Well many of those roofing companies have employed illegal aliens and the Fargo police department has been working on catching said aliens and deporting them.

Well in the course of doing that today the school was notified that some of the illegal aliens had run from the jobsites toward Centennial school and onto the grounds. The school was locked down and the grounds searched. According to the district though the school is required to contact all parents of students riding the bus or walking home.

I was fine sending the girls on the bus. Katie was upset at the time her teacher called, but during the conversation with her teacher the school was notified, that all was well and the police department had deem the area safe.

So I met the girls when they got off the bus and Meghan told me that some real live Mexicans had come onto the school grounds while they were at recess. She was all excited about it. Real live Mexicans huh? Kind of made me chuckle at how kids describe things. The police department did send out some extra patrol so that was good.

Katie is off to her first slumber party at her friend April's house. It is a spa party and I am sure she will get all dolled up to go to bed. We have her dance recital tomorrow so I do hope she gets some sleep. Ha! Right!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My thoughtful child!

So the girls have their annual book fair this week that they each have a coupon to get a free book. I allowed them each to take $5 to spend as well. Meghan took an additional $2 to donate to the Northwood School Library. They lost their books to the tornado that hit the town this last summer. And for some reason I didn't mention it to Katie. Chris and I had already sent in some money to help out.

Well Katie comes home from school and shows me her books. I asked her if she had any extra money left and she said "No I gave it to the Northwood school cause they lost all their books in the tornado." I was so proud of her for deciding on her own to do that. Just goes to show you that they do learn some things from their parents examples. She has always been a giver and I am really proud of her for doing that.

There's a Lizard in my Tub!

Now I know this could evoke a lot of curious questions in your head. Is it real? What is a lizard doing in her tub? Chris says there's a lizard in my bed too but we won't get into that!

So Meghan's class earns points for being well behaved in class. They save up these points and about 3 times a year they have an auction where they get to spend these points. Well she brought home a grocery bag full of stuff the other day and in there is a toy lizard that is suppose to grow to 3 feet! So she of course wants to grow the lizard.

Saturday comes and we all gather in their bathroom, thinking this will be a quick thing, and Chris starts running the tub. I start asking about the directions and what not. Meghan has thrown them away of course. So I start digging in her trash to find that the lizard takes 3 to 7 DAYS to grow to 3 feet. So scratch using their tub and now it is residing in my tub. Saturday can't come fast enough.

They check that thing every chance they get. Personally I don't think it will hit 3 feet, but if it does, my question is how long does it take to dry out and go back to normal? Dang thing could be in there till Christmas!

Could this kid get any funnier?

So Ryan loves the Bob 95 FM commercials. It is a country radio station in town and they have 3 commercials out with this puppet like guy. His head is round like a bobber would be. Their slogan is Turn your Knob to Bob. One of the commercials is to the Chicken Dance, the next is to Phonomena?? and now the Christmas one is to Jingle Bells. Well at dinner the other night he is belting out the Jingle Bell one complete with the YeeHaw at the end and I tell him "Bob sit down and eat!" To which he replies " I'M NOT FRICKIN' BOB!" at the top of his lungs. Yes, chalk another one up to me for great parenting!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ryan's Three!

Wow has three years really flown by since we had Ryan? It seems unreal, that and the fact that we have Aaron now too. Ryan is such a great little boy. He loves playing with his sisters and loves his little brother too. He tries to tell jokes and his favorite is the Impatient cow joke, although he has only gotten the punch line right once. We still laugh though.

He is a huge fan of Dora and she has taught him alot. He is very descriptive and his speech and we think that comes from Dora.

His favorite things are cars, trains, singing Barbie dolls, playing the piano and jumping on the trampoline. He likes bubble baths but hates things that are hot and loud.

We have a had a few scares with him this year that I am sure will send me to an early grave. But overall he has had a great year and he has grown and matured so much.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

More Ryan thoughts!

So the UPS guy comes yesterday. Ryan says, The box man is here!

Chris gets a lot of boxes for computers.

So much flying through my head!

So this has been a busy week for sure. All kids went to the Dr's for their flu shots. Three out of 4 got checkups and they are all doing well. Meghan is still sitting in the 10th percentile for height, but that is OK too. She is growing up though. Ryan is doing well too. The Dr feels when he is emotionally ready he will potty train, and has the capability but just has to want too. Yeah! Got him on there this morning and he went, but I am not holding my breath. He does say when he is 3 he will use the potty and that he will be a big boy. Let's hope.

Aaron is doing well too. He is the biggest of them all at this age. He is in the 50th percentile for height and 54th for weight or something like that. I worry about him cause he is my last and has so many issues. I did talk about autism with the doctor and she feels he is right on track socially. Babbling and loving to be held. I am just a worrier I guess. He did spend 15 minutes the other day watching the washer and dryer spin. Hmmm Fun! We went and had his helmet checked too and had a little adjustment done. His head seems to be doing just fine. Yeah!

3 out of 4 got haircuts this week too. Aaron had his first official and I was such a bad mom and forgot to get his hair. I remembered on the way home and luckily Stacy had a chunk saved. With 4 kids I just have a hard time keeping track of it all. Especially when we are all together. Yikes.

Conferences for the girls went well on Monday. Both are reading beyond their grade which is a relief. While Meghan is super confident about her abilities, Katie is not so much so. She is a chatter box though when not around her sister. I think Meghan just tends to dominate.

They are off from school today and I think they just get tired of playing with Ryan. He misses them so much when they are gone. I know they need alone time too, but mom needs to keep her sanity too and get something done. Just seems like I am always cleaning or something. I so just want to play with them too. Doesn't help that I am sick with something in my throat. Spares them from me yelling I suppose.

A friend of mine called this week to tell me she was pregnant. While excited for her, I understand that this was not planned and what she was feeling. I felt the same way with Aaron and was in denial for months. If I would tell someone they would be So excited and I would just cringe, because I was not. I knew when he was born I would feel differently, but at the same time I just was not happy to be pregnant. My friend is feeling the same way. This was not planned and when you are over 35 that brings new risks and worries. I told her it was OK to not be happy. She has the right to feel that way. I wish for her that others will respect that. I know I would have appreciated it. I know when she has her baby she will feel so differently. I know I never would have traded Aaron for anything. He is my baby and he gets so excited to see me when I come home. Makes me forget everything else in the world.

So this weekend brings Ryan's third birthday. Man did that time fly. He is having a Dora cake, cause he just loves Dora! She has taught him alot!

Aaron will be 9 months on Tues and his/our interview with the Forum was supposed to be Monday but has been postponed till the 26th. I am a little miffed over that but I suppose I will get over it. We want to raise awareness about the plagiocephaly. He is my 4th and I did nothing different with him than the others, yet we are dealing with the plagio. I wish I knew to be more conscious of it. Might have changed things, might not have but I think there is a need to keep parents informed. Repositioning aggressively can alleviate the need for the helmet.

So that is my ramble for the day. Now I need that nap.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Meghan's nine!!!!

Wow, nine years old. Can't believe she is nine. We had her birthday/sleepover last night and it went pretty well. They are old enough now, where they just go off on their own and do stuff. I do have to say I am not ready for her to grow up. One little girl came later and as soon as she arrived the mood changed. This girl has a cell phone, some sort of girly product business, an Ipod and proceded to tell us her favorite movie was Mean Girls and she watches Grey's Anatomy. I was floored. Once she arrived the drama seemed to come into play. She did leave earlier than the rest this morning and once gone the rest started playing school and Twister and girl stuff. It is hard for me to understand why a parent would let their daughter grow up this fast. Yikes!

Overall the party was good. Today we just kicked back and worked on a puzzle. Chris is watching the last Bison game and Katie and Ryan are playing dog. Go figure. I am working on going through all the pictures from the week as well as the plagiocephaly info for Aaron's interview with the Forum next Monday. I was planning on posting more pics on his Caringbridge site but they seem to be having troubles today.

Chris bonked me in the mouth last night with Aaron's helmet, Don't ask me how, and now I have a cold sore there. I am not thrilled.
Anyway here's a picture of my 9 year old.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween 2007~Happy Feet!

What great weather we had this Halloween. It wasn't as warm as it had been on Tues, but still a nice night to be out trick or treating. And thankfully my husband was home this year. Last year he was in Paris, France on business.

In the morning I went to breakfast with Meghan at her classroom. I got to see her decorated pumpkin which she had done like a cat. I also got to see some of the reading projects the class has been working on and the plants they are growing.

Chris went to her class Halloween party and she wore her Pirate costume from last year.

I took the boys to the Children's Museum and Ryan had a blast. He dressed as a pilot, Aaron as a scarecrow. I didn't get pumpkin pictures again cause Aaron was throwing a fit and wouldn't settle down. So off we went for home.

After lunch I dropped Ryan off at Kids Kingdom and left him in a tantrum, cause he didn't want to stay, and Aaron and I went to Katie's Halloween party. She went as a leopard and was very cute. Aaron threw another fit, so we left early and went and got Ryan who NOW didn't want to leave. We picked the girls up from school and went home.

I let Aaron nap and skipped going to Chris's office. Mummy dogs for supper and then we all got in our penguin costumes to go out. First stop was to our friends Oscar and Jan's house, then up to NDSU to visit my friend Tanie at work. After that it was to visit Tanie's husband Brad, Harrington's, Brenan's and then around our neighborhood.

We were a huge hit as penguins and I am so glad we were able to do it. Ryan did the culdesac with the girls and I and then we dropped him off home with dad and Aaron. The girls and I did about 4 more culdesacs before heading home. It was a great night to be out for sure.

Here are more pictures of us.
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