Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Katie's 15 month checkup

Today we finally got to Katie's checkup. I usually schedule these as close to the month mark as possible but with everything that has been going on here, it got delayed a little.

Katie weighed 22 lbs, 2 oz, which was the 40th percentile and was 32 1/4 inches, which was the 90th percentile. I was not surprised to find that she was so tall. She has outgrown quite a bit of her clothes in the past month or so. Katie is actually 1 inch taller than Michael was at the same age but weighs more than a pound less. This was not what I had expected since she eats so much more than he ever did.

The doctor said that everything else looked great with Katie. We talked about her glasses and how she was doing with them. We also discussed the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 for this upcoming flu season. Thankfully, these will be combined all into one shot. She did get 2 shots, which made her cranky in the afternoon and threw off her nap. I gave her some Tylenol and she seemed to settle down.

So it was a fairly uneventful appointment, which is always good news!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a difference a week makes

A week ago, we had just gotten back from a weekend at Todd's parents. They have a pool and Michael wouldn't go into it without holding on for dear life to someone. This afternoon Michael, Katie and I went to our neighborhood pool. Michael was so excited to go under the water and swim to me.

This past week, he took swimming lessons at our neighborhood pool. The first 2 days were pretty rough. When we got to the pool after much explanation about the lessons, he didn't want to go near the pool. Michael finally went into the pool after about 10 minutes. I took Katie and went to the other end of the pool. I thought he might do better if he didn't think he could keep coming out to me. He stayed in the pool for about 30 minutes the first day and actually went under the water, even though he did not like it at all.

The second day may have possibly been worse than the first day because now he knew what to expect. He didn't want to go back at all. More of the same started the lesson. He finally got in the pool and did a bit of swimming. He stayed in the pool for a while but got out in the middle because he didn't want to "dive" (go under the water).

Wednesday was the day that he finally decided he was going to swim. I am not sure what really changed but we got to the pool and he got right in. He still wasn't crazy about going under the water but he did it. He also swam from the railing to his teacher. It was less than 5 feet but it was progress. I was so proud of him!

The last day of lessons was Friday. He was so ready to get to the lesson and wanted to go as soon as he woke up and was dressed. I managed to keep him at home until it was time to leave. Once we got to the pool, he went in and it took him a little time to warm up. There was about 5 minutes in the middle of the lesson where he sat on the edge of the pool. By the end of the lesson, he was swimming to the teacher and back to the steps. He even jumped into the pool 2 or 3 times, with my help.

I cannot believe the progress that he made in one short week. I was amazed that he would put his head under water and let go of his death grip on the teacher. We will continue to go to the pool through the summer and work on getting him more comfortable in the water. Today we went and all he wanted to do was practice swimming the whole time. When we took a break on the stairs, he wanted to show me a trick. It was going under the water without holding on.

If you would have told me a week ago that Michael would have been letting go of me in the water, I would have thought you were talking about a different boy. He even told me swimming was fun. I told him that's what I thought all along!

Here he is swimming:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Class 3

Last night was the 3rd class for cake decorating. Since my camera was broken and being fixed last week, I don't have any pictures of the spectacular cake that I made for the second class. Let's just say I need to practice my technique a bit more. It was a round white cake with a green border and a hamburger on top.

The 3rd class concentrated on flowers and border designs. We learned how to do a shell, leaf, pompom flower, rosette, drop flower. We also learned how to ice a cupcake using a decorating tip. I doubt that I will ever ice a cupcake with a spatula or knife again. And they look so much better the new way too!

It's been a lot of fun learning how to decorate cakes using different techniques. And I have also met some nice people too. Everyone is friendly and willing to share their cake supplies, icing, etc.

Next week is the last class. We will be doing our final project, which is a cake. I get to pick a design to make and select the type of cake to make. I think I am going to attempt a round layer cake with some sort of fruit filling in between the layers. I will have to take some pictures when it's complete.

Here are few shots of the cupcakes:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Check 1, 2, Check

Check 1: Todd's one week follow-up post eye surgery. He had his appointment last Friday morning. He was finally able to lift his head up on Thursday. The doctor checked him and saw that the retina was lying flat, which meant that it was reattached. The gas bubble is still in his eye and that is going to take several weeks to dissolve. After that happens, Todd will go back to the doctor to see what the next step will be. He will most likely get a lens replacement in one or two months. The doctor also cleared him to go back to work yesterday with a few limitations on lifting and limited depth perception.

Check 2: Michael's opthamology 6 month checkup. He gets checked every 6 months for lens dislocation as well as his vision. He got a new pair of glasses with updated prescription in January. This time, his vision has gotten slightly worse but not enough to change his prescription now. He is nearsighted. The good news is that he does not have any further lens dislocation at this time. The doctor let me look through the glasses that he uses with a light attached to see what the dislocation looks like. The entire iris and pupil were red and there was a small sliver of white at the top where the dislocation is. It was good to know what it looks like for future reference and to understand what the doctor means. This was also Michael's first visit in which he was able to "read" the eye chart. The eye chart for kids has pictures instead of letters. I think that helped with knowing what he can and cannot see.

So 2 visits down with no major bad news. I'll take it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

to Todd! He is such a wonderful father to both Michael and Katie. I am so thankful to have him not only as my children's father but also as my husband. He does so much for our family and loves to spend time with the kids and me. Todd is a true family man and this is something that I feel should be treasured when there are so many who are not as fortunate as we are.

Happy Father's Day Todd!! Michael, Katie and I all love you very much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

15 months and 1 day

Things around here have been pretty crazy since Todd's surgery last Friday night. We will go back to the doctor tomorrow morning for an eye re-check and to see what the next step is.

In the meantime, Katie turned 15 months old yesterday. It's so hard to believe it. The time is flying by and she is developing her personality day by day. She can now say several phrases and knows quite a few words. Some of her favorites are "Mom", "Let's Go", "no", "bye-bye", "night night". I can say "one" and she repeats "two". It's so much fun to hear her talk. She has a deep voice and it's funny to hear it come out of such a little person.

She has already had 2 haircuts at home, just her bangs, because they are growing like crazy. She wears 18 month clothing and a size 4.5 shoe. We go for her 15 month well check the week after next. I am interested to see how much she has grown since the 1 year checkup. She still loves to eat too! We put food on her tray and it just disappears.

Katie now gets mad and her body goes limp when she is having her mini tantrums. She has learned to laugh at herself. If you are laughing about something she will join in too. Her relationship with Michael is changing right before our eyes. They now play together and she loves to follow him around. He can still make her laugh like no one else.

I love being a mom to a little girl and am amazed at everything that she is learning and doing. It's such a different experience from raising a boy but yet it is just as rewarding!

**Unfortunately I don't have a picture for 15 months because our camera is broken and in the shop!**

Monday, June 14, 2010

Update on Todd's Eye

This morning we headed back to the doctor to have him check Todd's eye. He still can't see where he repaired the retina as the eye is in the process of healing. Since Todd has to keep his head down all day and night long, this is helping the gas bubble stay where it needs to facilitate healing.

When the doctor looked in Todd's eye this morning, he said that he could tell that Todd has been keeping his head down as the blood was pooled in the bottom of the eye. Only 2 more days to go before Todd can lift his head again. I know it doesn't seem like that long but when you are uncomfortable it can seem like an eternity.

He will go back for another check on Friday. Hopefully there will be enough healing for the doctor to see if the surgery was successful or not. He has every reason to believe that it will be. His eye pressure was a bit elevated on Saturday morning but it was back in the normal range today. That's also good news.

I know Todd will just be happy when he can lift his head up again. It's going to take some time to heal and he won't be able to lay on his back but lying on his side will be better than his stomach!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emergency Surgery

On Friday night, Todd had to have emergency surgery to repair his detached retina. This is the second time he has had surgery to repair it. The opthalmologist also removed the lens from his eye as it was in the way of repairing the retina.

It all started Thursday afternoon when Todd started to see some black lines. They went away so he didn't think anything of it. Friday he had some white dots in his vision as well. He called me around 1:00 and asked me to call the doctor to see if he could get an appointment that afternoon. His regular doctor was on vacation but she gave me the choice of an appt for Monday morning or having Todd come and wait to be seen. He called the nurse in the meantime and she told him to come on in.

In the meantime, we were at home getting ready to go to the pool. Todd called a little after 3:00 and said he was headed to the doctor. He said that depending on what time he got done there, he would call and probably meet us at the pool. When I had not gotten a call and it was almost 5:30, I tried to call Todd. He didn't answer so I figured the doctor was just backed up.

I finally got a call from Todd around 5:45. He was on the way home. He told me that he had to be back at the hospital by 6:30 for surgery on his eye. He had a detached retina again. I couldn't believe it and kept waiting for him to tell me that he was kidding. Anyone who knows Todd knows that he can be quite the prankster. I realized he was serious after he said he would be waiting for me at home. I think I was in a bit of shock at this point. So I quickly got the kids changed out of their bathing suits and we headed home.

As soon as we got there, I ran in, got changed and we headed to the hospital. Once we got there, we got Todd registered and the nurse came down to take him to pre-op. The kids and I headed up to the surgery waiting room. Todd's parents were there and his brother met us up there shortly afterwards. I headed down to pre-op to see Todd before he went in to surgery. I met the doctor who was going to perform the surgery. He talked about the operation and said that it should take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours. Todd would be sedated but awake for the operation. I headed back up to the surgery waiting room around 7:45 as they took Todd back to the OR.

We ran out to get something to eat for the kids and got back around 8:30. Time went by as we waited anxiously for news that the surgery was over. At 10:00, the waiting room was closing so we headed down to the ICU waiting room. The surgery had been going on for over 2 hours now. The kids were beyond tired so we were getting them ready to go home with Todd's brother. The doctor came in around 10:30. He said that the surgery was complete. It had taken him longer than expected to get the lens out but all else had gone as planned. The kids went home with their uncle and we waited for Todd.

This was an outpatient procedure and Todd was going to be released that night. When he had his first detached retina over 10 years ago, he was in the hospital for 5 days. We were a little concerned that he was going to be released and asked the doctor about that. He said this was a routine procedure and insurance would most likely not pay for a hospital stay.

He was finally ready to go home around 11:00. I spoke with the discharge nurses and got his prescriptions. He was due to meet with the doctor in the morning at his office at 8:00. We got home a little after 11:30. Todd got something to eat and headed up to bed. I headed out to pick up his prescriptions, which the hospital had faxed in. The fax didn't go through and I ended up having to wait an hour for them to be filled. I was exhausted by this time.

For 5 days after the surgery, Todd has to keep his head down to allow the retina to heal. He has a gas bubble in his eye and in order to keep it from moving to the wrong place, he has to keep his head down. He can't sleep on his back and has to sit with his head looking at the ground too. The first night was extremely uncomfortable for him and I don't think last night was much better. It's hard for him to lay on his stomach for extended periods of time due to his back. We were able to get a massage table from one of his brother's friends so this gives Todd somewhere else to sleep.

We will go back to the doctor again tomorrow to get his eye checked. He has to take 3 different eyedrops each day and an ointment before bed. Hoping for good news from the doctor in the morning!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My First Class

Last night was my first cake decorating class. They will be on Wednesdays in the month of June. I am so excited to learn how to decorate cakes, cupcakes and cookies! Not only do I like to make these things but I like to eat them too. The class is offered at our local AC Moore.

This is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I have made all of Michael's birthday cakes and Katie's cake this year. I know that I have quite a bit to learn to get better at my technique. We worked with the star tip last night. That is the one I use most frequently.

The class was supposed to last 2 hours but it ran over a little bit. The instructor showed us how to make icing and the different consistencies used to ice different parts of the cake. She also showed us how to cut cakes into layers and put icing in between the layers.

The best thing I learned last night was how to make a smoothly iced cake using wax paper and how to get the side of the cake iced without crumbs. These are two things that I seem to have problems with.

Next week we have to bring 2 batches of homemade icing, as well as a round cake. Can't wait to see what we are going to do with that! I know Todd will be looking forward to the end result.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Reading

Today Michael and I went to the library. We did some puzzles, colored and then he picked out a few books to participate in the Summer Reading Program. The program started on June 1st. The librarian gave us the papers to keep track of the books that we read to Michael. He will get a reward when he reads 5, 10 and 15 books.

This is his second summer participating in the program. They had a ceremony last summer in which Michael received his medal for reading 15 books. He keeps this medal in his room and wears it around on a regular basis. Later today, Todd read him a book for his list.

I love reading and hope that Michael enjoys it too. He has a great time at the library since there are so many books to choose from. We go to several different branches, as well as the main library, and there are different puzzles at each of them.

I look forward to reading to Michael and Katie this summer!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I love watching this.....

relationship develop between Katie and Michael. Now that Katie is getting a bit older and more vocal, she is able to interact with Michael. They have little conversations too. Most of them involve Michael telling Katie not to do something or to stop touching his things but some of them have Michael telling Katie that he loves her or wanting to take care of her.

Since Todd had been working hard in the yard for the majority of the day, I took both kids inside for their bath. They don't normally bathe together but I thought it would be fun for a change. And it can be an incentive for Michael to cooperate since he always wants to be first.

As soon as they got into the bath, Michael was being so sweet to Katie. He was giving her kisses on her head and telling her that he loved her. These moments just make my heart so happy. It's also one of the reasons that I love having 2 kids. To watch their relationship grow and change is amazing. One moment like this stays with me for several days.

And here you can see them interact:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Morning at the Zoo

We have a zoo membership to the Riverbanks Zoo. My parents renewed it for another year as a gift to Michael for his birthday. Since I am not working this summer, I am really hoping to get to use it more often.

Last night I told Michael that if he listened this morning and cooperated that we would do something fun today. I didn't tell him what it was in hopes of having success with the listening. After he picked out his clothes and got dressed by himself, I got Katie dressed and I showered. We ate breakfast and headed out to the zoo. Michael and I talked about some of the animals that we might see there today.

We got there a little after 10:00 and it was still relatively cool out. The zoo is shaded in many areas, which makes it an ideal place to go during the hot SC summers. We saw hyenas, lions, and monkeys. We walked into the lorikeet area and watched people feed them since Michael did not want to feed them. We took a break at the playground while Michael made the "chocolate". This is a big square of tiles that turn around.

After the playground, we rode the tram over the river to the botanical gardens and back over to the zoo again. This gave us a break to eat a snack, drink and rest for a few minutes. When we got back, we went over to feed the giraffes. This was the first time we had been there while that was going on. Michael LOVED it! He didn't seem to mind the giraffe licking his hand at all. There was the baby giraffe and a big giraffe. We watched the elephants for a bit and then decided to head home.

The best part about this trip to the zoo was the fact that Katie rode in the backpack carrier the whole time and was content to do so. And Michael listened and didn't run away or throw any tantrums, which was a bonus in my book! Looking forward to exploring new things at the zoo throughout the summer.