Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Some Fun Stuff

We were hanging out at our friends house, Amy and Randy, a couple days while the floors were being installed. Their daughter, Madeleine, has this baby doll that cries. And for whatever reason, Dalton thought he needed to plug some headphones into the baby’s mouth!!

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Why have just one binky, when you could have two?!?! Why didn’t I think of this before?!?!?

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Chris took Dalton to Razorfest last weekend. Basically a scrimmage game, with fun stuff for the kids to do, and giveaways.

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Dalton “met” Woody.

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And Buzz Lightyear…

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The other day I asked Dalton to go get dressed. I told him to get pants because it was chilly and rainy. I was looking for a certain pair of pants for Jackson, but couldn’t find them and figured they were in the laundry. But then here comes Dalton…

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Wearing Jackson’s pants! I guess they got put in D’s dresser by mistake, and he thought they were Capri's?

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It does crack me up, though, that Dalton still “fits” into 12-18 month clothes!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Touch A Truck

Chris took Dalton to the Touch A Truck event a few weekends ago. It’s basically a bunch of giant trucks and whatnot, and the kids get to climb up in them, honk the horns, and play around. There was other stuff to do, too, and fun giveaway items.

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AND, he got to shoot a BB Gun!! He even hit the target…twice!!!

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A Little Surprise for Dalton

Last week we got a visit from Grammy and Grandpa Wilhelm. (Chris’s mom and step-dad.) Grammy hadn’t seen Jackson since he was only a couple months old, and Grandpa had never seen him. Big surprise for Dalton though was on the horizon…

We did go to a Natural’s game, where Dalton got to hang out with Strike, aka Sasquatch.

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And of course we had to get peanuts!!

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And later he was down by the batting/pitching/warm up cage, and one of the players threw him a ball!!

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And of course Jackson had fun, too! (please excuse the red eye, I’m working from my laptop, and don’t think I have photo editing software on here!!)

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We also went to the Walton 5 & Dime, the Wal-Mart museum and original Wal-Mart store. And had a picnic at the park. And Dalton got to go swimming at Grammy and Grandpa’s hotel. And the big surprise?

Grammy and Grandpa flew their plane down here! Chris has been, well, BEGGING me basically, for years, to let Dalton go up in the plane, and I never would let him. But this year, against my better judgment, I said yes. Obviously everyone survived, and Dalton loved it!

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Dalton got to wear his very own headset!!

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Of course Chris had to take a picture of Razorback Stadium.

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And I think for my benefit, he also took a picture of Tiger Stadium. :)

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Grammy and Grandpa at the controls! LOOK OUT!

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I’m glad now that I let Dalton go up, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again. Jackson and I waited at home, and honestly, I worried the whole time they were gone!


Alright, well, technically we didn’t really “remodel”. Just got some projects done that have been on our to-do list for several years. I have had multiple emails AND phone calls asking for pictures, so here they are! Shut up already!

Our interior doors before:

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And the doors after:

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My sister Julie did all the doors. She also painted all the trim, and did a couple accent walls in the house. In our bedroom, we went from dark blue to dark red. I don’t have a final picture of this one, as I don’t have the curtains back up yet.

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Dalton asked her to put paint under her eyes, so she did! She’s a sucker for my kid’s requests!
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In the dining room, we stuck with the same color, but went from flat paint to satin paint. We painted that wall before we had kids, and now we realize that it sucks trying to clean food off a flat paint wall!!

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We also got new windows. Which I love!! They are double hung, so we can open then from top AND bottom, and they tilt in for easy cleaning. I love being able to open then from the top. Now the cats can’t push the screens out and escape!!

The old windows:

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The destruction:

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And the new windows:

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And we got new floors! We’ve been talking about putting in wood floors for YEARS. We never had the money. And then we wanted to wait until Dalton was older. And then we didn’t have the money. And then we wanted to wait until Jackson was older. And so on and so forth. We finally just did it!!

Here’s the old carpet. You can’t tell really in the pics, but there were big dark stains EVERYWHERE and it smelled. And when your carpet looks like crap, the rest of the house can be great, but the whole house will look like crap just because of the carpet.

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The wood was stacked in our dining room for three days before installation!

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The destruction!!

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Installation took five days! The dogs and cats were kenneled in our garage, the boys and I hung out with different friends through the process, and in the evenings, we ate dinner in our bedroom! HA! Because the living room and dining room furniture was all stack up in one room.

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When we started moving stuff back in, Jackson was overjoyed to have his toys back! He had to dump them ALL out and play with all of them at the same time. :)

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The finished product:

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Overall, we’re happy with it. It creaks a lot when you walk on it. We purposely got the floating installation, because supposedly it will be easier to make repairs later on down the road.

Between the kids and dogs and the cats, it gets dirty FAST. And since it is so dark, everything shows up. I sweep three times a day! Still getting used to that. Chris said one morning “You know what sucks? Stepping on cat litter bits bare foot on a wood floor.” and then later I responded with “You know what sucks? Stepping on cat litter bits bare foot on a wood floor after you get out of the shower and your feet are wet. It clumps on your foot!”

And it scratches REALLY easily. Even with plastic toys. But we just take a Crayola brown marker (no body likes brown anyway!) and color them in, and you really can’t see them anymore. :)

Overall, we’ve done a lot! We also added more insulation to the attic (we’ll get a tax credit for the insulation and the windows). (Julie helped with the insulation, too). We replaced all the door bottoms/sweeps on the exterior doors (Julie, again), we replaced the kitchen faucet, we put in a vegetable garden. We’ve been SO busy!!

Jackson’s Assessment

Alrighty then. I’m going to do several posts to get caught up, but didn’t want the post to be super long with a thousand pictures, so there you go! First things first…Jackson.

He was scheduled to go in for his 18 month check up yesterday. On Sunday, he started running a fever. It was 104 when he got up from his nap, and he was super cuddly. That child will not sit in your lap for more than two minutes, so I must say, I took advantage! We sat on the couch and just cuddled for HOURS.

On Monday, he still had his fever. It ranged from 101 (when I treated with acetaminophen and ibuprofen) up to 104. He was no longer cuddly like before (dang it!) but he quit eating. Other than that, no symptoms. Then Monday night, I noticed what I thought was a cut on his gums, in between and above his front two teeth. It looked to be infected, so I figured that was what was causing his fever, and he was already scheduled to go the doctor so I wasn’t too terribly worried.

Then Tuesday we get up, we got to the doctor as planned. I went to our regular clinic, but saw a different doctor than we normally do (our two regular doctors were booked for two months solid, so I took what I could get!!)

The doctor said that she also thought it was a cut, but that it wasn’t infected. She did see that he had ulcers in his throat and said that was what was causing the fever and the no eating. She said it was a viral infection that couldn’t be treated (but didn’t tell me the name of it), and to just treat the fever as I already was and to make sure that Jackson stayed hydrated. We also went through his development stuff and it was recommended that we start speech therapy and possibly occupational therapy (more on that later).

So we came home. This morning Jackson got up with no fever, but he did have four blisters on his face. Three around his mouth and one on his neck. They looked to me like chicken pox!! I called the pediatrician and spoke with the nurse. She said to watch for fever, and watch the spots for 24 hours, and see if any more appear. Okay.

At this point, Jackson has only eaten yogurt for 48 hours. He’s still in a fairly good mood, laughing and playing, drinking well, but still not eating. (Remember: ulcers in throat). He goes down for a nap. When he got up, he had another fever, this time 105. And his poor mouth! There’s blood on the sheets and his shirt, so I check his mouth, and the poor kid has ulcers ALL through his mouth. EVERYWHERE. His gums are inflamed, with ulcers, and are bleeding. So we eat a snack (more yogurt!), and off we go to the doctor. It was 4:00 in the afternoon, and the pediatrician had no appointments, regular or at the after hours clinic, so I took him to Wellquest, a local walk-in clinic here in Btown.

We were there for three hours! Daddy came and picked up Dalton when he got off of work, because he was driving everyone crazy running around the waiting room. :)

I LOVE Dr. Fox at Wellquest. He’s so patient and completely explains everything to you, in layman’s terms. What the pediatrician said was true, it’s a viral infection. What she didn’t tell me was the name or that it would get MUCH worse before it gets better.

He has Stomatitus. Basically, kids between ages 1 and 2 get it, and it’s just their first exposure to herpes simplex. Like fever blisters and whatnot. Only some kids have a much worse reaction than others.

This site:
has an excellent description of it.

So this is what’s causing the blisters on the face, the high fever, the bleeding ulcers in the mouth, the swollen bleeding gums, the diarrhea (yes, that too!), the horrible sick smelling breath. Basically the only thing we can do is NOT brush his teeth (I tried last night and he just screamed, his mouth bled, and then I quit), make sure he gets lots of fluids, give iburprofen for fever and pain, and give benadryl before bed to help with swelling and to help him sleep.

Poor little Jackson! He’s actually doing quite well, for the fever and pain. He’s still playing and laughing. He’s in so much pain though, that he won’t even take his pacifier!! We’re going to use this opportunity, as much as it sucks, to break the binky habit!! He went to bed tonight without it with no problems, which may be because he knows it hurts anyway, but hopefully once he recovers, he won’t even remember the binky. (He should be fine in 5-10 days.)

Now, the speech and occupational therapy recommendation. I was a little concerned because at almost 19 months, Jackson only says “doggie” (and doesn’t know what it means, I don’t think), and he’s only said “mama” and “dada” a couple times. I KNOW that all kids learn at their own rate. And I know he was a preemie. And I also know that a lot of his “refusal” to talk stems from the fact that he is just so damn stubborn. (Sorry, but it’s true.) He mostly just grunts and points. He doesn’t really babble at all.

So we went through this big checklist, and he is behind on EVERYTHING. She asked if he babbles, like HE knows what he’s saying. No. Does he pretend play? Like pretend to talk on the phone, or pretend to feed a baby, or make truck sounds with trucks? No. Does he understand us if we ask him to do something, like go throw this in the trash, or take this to Daddy? No. Does he wave? No. Every single thing she asked, the answer was no. And it was disappointing to say the least. In my head, I know kids will talk when they want to. I KNOW that. I know that a big part of Jackson is that he is just stubborn as hell. I KNOW that. I also know several people whose non-preemie kids didn’t talk til they were 2 or even 3 years old, and one day, they just did it, and they are fine.

I know all these things. However…I want to be proactive, and not reactive. Part of me wants to wait it out and see if he catches up. But the other part of me doesn’t want to wait because I don’t want to get to a point where we’re SO far behind that we just end up screwing him over! Like with his helmet. Technically that wasn’t really our fault. It was never recommended to us to start treating his head until he was almost a year old. Most treatments start at four months old, but waiting so long became an issue. Yes, his head looks MUCH better than it did, but we won’t be able to round it out 100% because at this age the cranial growth slows and the sutures fuse. We’ve been very lucky that they haven’t fused yet.

And this also brings up how I feel about all this, I mean, how I TRULY feel about this. Have I failed as a mother? Don’t get me wrong. I know, truly know in my head, that I am a good parent. My kids are basically healthy (let’s just exclude Jackson’s bleeding gaping mouth holes right now), happy, social, and outgoing. They are well fed, well dressed, and clean. We do fun things like go to the park, and go to swim classes. (Well, Dalton does. I signed up Jackson and me for a Mommy and Me swim class this session, and so far we SHOULD have gone to five classes, and have only gone to one! A couple weeks he was sick, one I was sick, and another he was all snotty, which I think was due to just teething, but nobody wants a baby snotting all over the pool! But I digress…) But is there something that I could have done better? Something that would have helped Jackson talk by now, or “pretend play”, or make car noises? Have I failed him somehow? I get emotional thinking about it, and I know in my head that I have done everything I can, but my heart feels differently. My heart feels heavy. Heavy with dread about everything that he has already gone through. Two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Influenza and pneumonia last fall. The helmet to change his head shape. Now speech therapy and possibly occupational therapy. Will he be doomed in that everything in life will always be more difficult for him than it will be for Dalton? Will he have to work harder, and faster, and smarter than everyone else to succeed? I am thankful that he lived, and that things aren’t worse than they are, because they certainly could be worse… But when do we catch a break? When does God say, “Okay, enough torture for the Bane’s.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Love My Hair This Way!!

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Bane, for bringing me this super cool red hair coloring when you visited!! Mommy cut my hair earlier tonight, and I convinced her to make me into a rock star. It's way better than the green hair stuff you brought me last year.

At Least It's Funny

Oh, yes, this kind of craziness is a daily ritual at our house. It is always loud and out of control unless it is 3:00 am. At least Jackson thinks that Dalton is funny, however I see a lot of trouble in our future with two wild boys that feed off of each other!