Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to the doctor

I feel as though I am living at the doctor's office. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but we spend way too much time there. In the last 2 months I have been that office more often that I have been at my parent's house. Crazy, right? But between getting medications in order and trying to get Brenden's eczema under control, I find myself making appointment after appointment. Hopefully after today we're done for awhile.

Brenden's hasn't been feeling so well since we got home on Saturday and I injured my left index finger about a month ago and wasn't sure what I had done and if I needed to get it fixed. Both of our doctors are in the same office so it was easy to get appointments, on at 9:30 am and one at 9:50 am. I thought we might be cutting it a little close, but the lady on the phone assured me that we would be fine. Thank goodness I showed up early! The nurse that checked me in was not at all happy that we would need to rush around to get from one appointment to the next. (Anyone that has sat in a waiting room for an hour after their appointment time knows that doctors don't like to rush.) But they took great care of us. Even though Brenden's appointment was at 9:50 they took us back immediately, weighed him (30.5 lbs! GEEZ!) and took us straight to his pediatrician. She checked him out and luckily his ears are totally normal right now. She thinks he may have allergies on top of the cold, which is making him crabbier.

He may not feel 100%, but he's still a ham when he has a crowd. He flirted with the nurses, tried to use the stethoscope to listen to the doctor's heart, and ran from one child to the next in the waiting room. He wasn't very excited to escort me to my appointment and did everything he could to distract me while I was explaining my finger pain to the nurse. I followed after him, taking away cleaning bottles and medical equipment, while telling her that my pain was making normal activities, like buttoning shirts and zipping sweaters, almost impossible. They sent me to get an x-ray and Brenden continued to gallivant around like he owned the place. He found a few more nurses, procured a "hospital balloon" (a surgical glove blown up), and sat on everyone's lap.

Eventually we made it back to see my doctor. It looks like I tore a ligament on the outside of my finger, right near the joint. I have no clue what I did, although carrying 30 lbs of wriggling toddler might have something to do with it. I don't have to have a splint and I should be healed up in a few more weeks. If you see me in public in sweatpants, a t-shirt, and slip on shoes you'll know why. Please do not call What Not To Wear! On second thought, do call them. I could use a new $5000.00 wardrobe!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All dressed up with no place to go. How about Kyotos??

Friday night Tim and I drove to Stillwater for OSU's ROTC Dining Out. We had very carefully checked to make sure that everything we needed was in the car. We double checked to make sure that Mike and Connie had everything they needed to watch Brenden and the dogs for the night. We had a hotel room so that we didn't have to drive all the way back home. We even left early enough to give ourselves time to get a few last minute things, like a bow tie and some bobby pins. After checking in I spent a few hours getting ready, most of which was spent doing my hair. (I hate paying to have it done just to take it down a few hours later.) Tim very carefully measured the distance between his buttons, ribbons, nameplate and patches to make sure that everything was in the perfect place.

At 5 minutes to 7 pm we headed out. There is usually a social hour before the food is served and we didn't want to be there too early. The moment we pulled into the parking lot we realized something wasn't right. There were a ton of cars but no one was walking in. We parked and trudged to the door, only to hear the speaker finishing for the night. Apparently it started at 6 pm, not 7 pm. After waiting for the speech to end so that we weren't interrupting we slid back out the door and back to the car. Tim was so upset with himself and was shocked that I wasn't mad as well. (He was doing a pretty good job of beating himself up. I didn't need to help.) Thankfully when I suggested we go out to eat at Kyoto, a hibachi restaurant, he agreed and stopped swearing at the steering wheel.

Even though we had a few strange looks on our way to our table, we were extremely happy with our dinner. We shared an order of Koloci (Japanese potato pancakes) and each picked out a sushi roll. Tim had a veggie roll with shrimp and I had the Kyoto roll. It was filled with avocado, cream cheese, and crab, and topped with tuna and salmon. So yummy! After dinner we had planned on going out to a few bars that we had frequented in college. Unfortunately we have developed habits that center around a toddler and when faced with the choice of going out or going back to the hotel room, drinking beer, and watching movies, we chose to head back to the hotel. Tim ended up falling asleep at 9 pm and after watching the end of The Fifth Element I fell asleep, too.

One might think we would be up and moving around at the crack of dawn. Not so! After lazing around watching TV all morning we drug ourselves out of bed, got ready, and packed the car. I think we made it out of the room just before the check out time at noon. Itching for some cheese fries, we headed to Eskimo Joe's, only to find it packed with people in town for the basketball game. This weekend was not going according to plan at all! Somehow we agreed that Mexico Joe's was the next best thing. After a pretty good lunch we headed back home. Mike and Connie brought Brenden and the dogs back to us, but unfortunately he wasn't his normally sunny self. It seems that he had picked up the bug that everyone is catching, which includes a lovely runny nose, coughing, sneezing and an overall cranky attitude. We are just hoping that it doesn't include an ear infection.

What did we learn this weekend? 1.) Double check the time when heading to an event that takes more than 30 minutes to get ready for. Make that triple check. 2.) Being flexible with our plans can lead to a great time, even better than what we had planned. 3.) Even with a grouchy look and snot, our son's face is the most amazing sight after a night away.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Ready For Change

Brenden has always been a scheduled baby. When he was little he would eat, play for about 30 minutes, then take a nap. This repeated roughly 6 times a day until he had his bath at night, drank his last bottle, and went to sleep. As he got older the naps went down to 3, one at 9 am, one at noon-ish, and one at 3 pm. I was ready for that change, especially since it made it easier to go out during the day. And then we dropped to 2 naps a day, morning and night, which was also just fine. If he missed his 2nd nap he would be grouchy and might have a hard time going to sleep, but he would make it. Then last week, I put him down for his nap at the same time as usual, expecting him to be out for about an hour or more, just to find him back up 20 minutes later. I thought that meant the afternoon nap would be longer, or maybe he was combining them. No joy. He didn't fall asleep at all the 2nd time around. This went on for a few days and frazzled my confidence. I thought I knew what he needed! Was this a temporary switch? Would he be gripey like this every night now?

I don't think I would have been as freaked out about the napping if it hadn't coincided with his appetite changes, which all but disappeared. He would some broccoli or bread, maybe a few bites of grilled cheese or mac and cheese, but nothing like he normally does. He's always had a hollow leg when it comes to food. Always eaten anything we gave him, from onions to olives to salsa. (He loved them all!) Now we're handing him just about anything just to get something in him. Pickles for dinner? Sure! A spoon of peanut butter and a few bites of roll? That works! Most of it ends up on the floor, or else it's eaten by the dogs. Feeding the dogs has become much more interesting than eating the food himself. He still asks to eat, but a few bites is all he wants and the rest is thrown over the edge.

I had a friend that told me that her son switched up his eating and sleeping habits when he was going through a developmental phase, like a growth spurt or learning a new skill. Brenden has done that, but it usually went the other way, like sleeping and eating MORE. He's definitely grown about an inch or more. His 18 month pants are way too small. But usually by the time I realize he's grown he's back to normal. I have noticed that he has been picking up more words, recognizing more things, but I'm not sure it has anything to do with the other changes. How could learning that a sheep says "baaaa" make him sleep less? How can being able to point at his eye and say "eye" make his appetite wane?

Yesterday was the first time he napped for a normal amount of time. He even grabbed a bib and asked to go "nigh-nigh". His interest in food hasn't changed, though. I guess as long as he's drinking fluids and eating something, even if it is only half a banana and the peanut butter out of the middle of the crackers, then he's OK. Is there anything else I should worry about? Oh yeah, potty training, school, girls, driving, college...the list is endless.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's Day ended up being more of a Valentine's weekend. The restaurant we wanted to eat at was booked for Friday and Saturday, so we made plans to go on Sunday instead. My parents came down on Friday to hang out with us (meaning, they wanted see Brenden) and they sent us out shopping because they had something they needed to do with just Brenden. When we got home he had made us a homemade Valentine's Day card, which was amazing! We also got cookies, candy and the Cars dvd. After Brenden finally settled down we ate pizza and watched The Golden Compass, which was actually a decent movie, even if it was a little confusing. I want to read the books, but I've heard that they are written from an atheist point of view and are meant to be the anti-Narnia series. I just want to see what it's about. I don't think any book could change my view on my faith.

Our amazing Valentine!!!

Saturday was pretty laid back. We went to the mall to look for a dress for me for the upcoming dining out at Oklahoma State and while we were there we let Brenden play with the other kids at the indoor play place, which he loves. I realized while watching him that he has started surveying the situation before he jumps in, and I'm very happy to see that. He's always cautious when he gets close to a step, always grabs our hands or the railing. Before he grabs something he looks at us to see if we are going to tell him no. So yesterday, he stood against the wall and watched for a little bit before he went running through the crowd. I also noticed that he waits for other kids to go up and down the slide, or lets them crawl on before he does, even if he was there first. He doesn't scream or push, he's just happy to be there with them. He ended up running around after a couple of the girls, screaming as they screamed, which they all thought was a hilarious game. As long as he wasn't screaming because he was hurt or upset, I wasn't worried about it.

Even though Tim told me I wasn't going to get a gift because he hates Valentine's Day (ask him about it sometime) he surprised me with a couple of books and a homemade poem. I think he was tired of watching me re-read the Harry Potter books and Twilight series. He wanted some tools for the computer and was more than happy to pick them up himself, so that I didn't get him the wrong ones. We spent Saturday night eating sloppy joes, reading, and messing with the hard drive for the laptop, which was the wrong one. Oops!

Our plans for Sunday didn't work out the way we expected. My mom was going to watch Brenden for us when we went out to eat, but some other, more important, things came up so we decided to go out to eat with Brenden instead. Tim is super excited to eat some skillet queso at Chili's and Brenden should be happy to have tons of people to wave at. It was a fun, relaxing weekend that turned out better than I expected, especially since I was told to expect nothing. :)

Since I haven't bragged in a few days about Brenden's new skills, that's what this paragraph will be devoted to. If you are anyone other than one of his grandmas, or an adopted grandma (That's you, Elaine!) then you should probably skip this. You may be bored. Brenden has now learned all of the hand motions for The Wheels On the Bus, which we've learned works very well in the car if he gets upset. He can even say "beep!" This morning when we told him we were going bye bye he grabbed the car keys, handed them to Tim, and said, "Keys!" We had no idea he had learned that word yet. Last night we were reading a book about food and Tim was pointing out the different things to him. Brenden grabbed the book, started pointing to the different items, and babbled using the same inflection that Tim was. We both started cracking up! And, he's learning how to recognize people in pictures other than Tim and me. The other day he tried to dial someone on our phone and when he realized the call wasn't going to go through (we had outgoing calls restricted) he started pointing at the picture associated with the number. He can pick out all of his grandmas and grandpas, and even tried to say Uncle Justin.

I promise that's all the bragging for now. I hope you all had a wonderful, love-filled weekend!


Chili's was pretty good! Brenden found a couple of kids to play peek-a-boo with and even convinced one of the ladies next to us to pick him up. He ate a little of his grilled cheese and a TON of broccoli, his new favorite food. Tim and I gorged ourselves on chips and dip and then somehow shoved our dinner in. Then we thought we'd treat ourselves to Braum's, which was super yummy. A great end to a a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Allergist Has Spoken

Yesterday Tim took Brenden to the allergist for a follow up appointment. I had to work at the dance studio so I didn't get to go. It doesn't sound like I missed much at all. She spoke to him for about 10 minutes and didn't tell him anything that we didn't already know. She asked what we had cut out, which isn't much. Brenden doesn't drink whole milk anymore, although now it's more because he likes the taste of rice milk better, not because we think he's really allergic. I thought she would rip into us for not following "her" advice. (I put that in quotations because she never actually told us anything. It came from her nurse.) To my surprise she actually agreed with what we are doing and said that as long as he isn't reacting then he's fine. The only thing she did advise was to keep his peanut and cashew intake down, which isn't hard since he doesn't really eat much peanut butter. We're also supposed to keep our house relatively dust free, which
is impossible unless I live with a dust rag in my hand 24/7. (Hardwood is awesome, but the dust is insane.) So Brenden is cleared to eat whatever he'll let us feed him. I feel confident that he won't have any problems as long as we keep him from being smeared in anything he reacted to for longer than 3 days. I think his bath every other day covers that.

Oh yeah...new pictures. Click here and here!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

When did he learn that?

When Brenden was about 13 months old we started doing time outs. At first, it seemed like a losing effort, especially since he found it quite hilarious to smack the dog, even if he did spend 30 seconds sitting down and crying. However, I realized a few weeks ago that time outs have become pretty few and far between. We still have to tell him no, but he gets it the first time and doesn't fight us on it. Many of his time outs are near nap time, which doesn't surprise me at all. He needs his sleep, just like his momma. Without it we turn into nasty grumps and it's even worse if we haven't eaten in a while.

So time outs seem to be working, and recently he proved it to us. My brother, Justin, was at our house so that Tim could help him with his taxes. Brenden was extremely excited to have both his dad and his uncle here to play with him. Unfortunately, he was also excited to play with Uncle Justin's keys, which we've decided is not a good idea since he knows exactly where the alarm button is and they aren't exactly the cleanest things ever. I took the keys and put them where Brenden can't reach them, which infuriated him. I haven't seen him that upset in a long time and I'm still not sure why it was so bad. He took a deep breath and let out a scream like he had a broken hand and then smacked my knee as hard as he could. There have been times where he's lashed out at us that way, but it was usually in response to one of us trying to keep him from touching the hot stove, which is the only time Tim or I will swat at his hands. Immediately I said, "Time out!" and pointed at his mat. Apparently he was just as shocked at his reaction to being denied the keys as we were because he stopped crying, walked over and sat down without one of us having to lead him there. He then sat there with his hands in his lap and a sad look on his face, but no crying, for 2 minutes. He didn't even try to get up. I stooped down, explained that hitting was not something he does, made him say sorry and then gave him a kiss. He skipped along on his merry way, happy to have his punishment over with. He didn't ask for the keys again. Now when I say "time out" I don't even have to point, he just walks to his mat and serves his time. I even found if we don't have a time out mat handy that telling him to sit down where he is for time out works, too. Yay! We did something right!

Today he also proved that he knows exactly what "potty" means. While playing in his room he made a noise that made me think that I would be changing a dirty diaper soon. I said, "Are you going potty" and he jumped up, ran to the bathroom, and started knocking on the door. I figured today was a good a time as any to sit him on his own potty, so I did. He sat there for a few minutes and surprisingly there was a very VERY small amount of pee pee in the potty. So we did a potty dance and then called dad and the grandmas. Potty training scares me to death, so the more interested he seems by himself, the better off I'll be! We're going to try putting him on there a few times a day just to get him used to it. Wish us luck!

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