Sunday, October 30, 2011

Out of the Loop

I was right about one of the aspects of my job that Iwould miss when staying at home- and that was the people I worked with.  After going to two happy hours with two different groups of friends and then hearing about college friends congregating in Charlottesville for a wedding I feel more out of the loop than ever.  Yes, I did attend some happy hours.  But I attended them with CJ in tow and of course it just wasn't the same.  While everyone was chatting away and planning their weekends I was trying to find a good place for CJ's car seat so I could rock him to sleep.  Or, I was listening behind everyone as I gave CJ a bottle.  As cute and well-behaved as the little man is, he does have a limit and will inevitably start to fuss.  I don't want to be a downer and make everyone feel uncomfortable when my baby starts to cry, even when the happy hour is at a family friendly restaurant.  So maybe these aren't great outlets to catch up with friends.  Again, I knew things were going to change, but I still thought I would be able to have a sliver of cake and eat it too.

CJ and I have already started making friends through the MOM's group, so even though the environment of the outings will be different (i.e. instead of bar area of restaurant, storyroom at the library) I will still get some of the adult interaction that is really needed.  The bonus is that these women also will be able to empathize with being a new mom and the many many joys, but also difficulties and life changes that it brings. 

Here are many of the pictures I have taken for my project in the past week or so- by the way, CJ's last urinalysis was negative!  Still need to talk to the nephrologist about the results, but it's looking more and more like the pink in the diaper was caused by urate crystals.  Phew. 

CJ facing front in the Baby Bjorn
First time in the bumbo seat

What little color change we have had

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls I made for the Mom's Club Halloween party

Loving the bumbo seat and Curious George

Chicken and ham sandwich with artichoke sundried tomato spread on pumpkin focaccia


Saturday, October 22, 2011

We would like some answers please.

So it all started the Saturday after we returned from the beach.  We found something pink in CJ's diaper in the morning that looked like it could be blood.  There wasn't a lot there, and it looked like it could have been caused from skin irritation.  Decided to just wait and see.  A week later, I changed his diaper in Pennsylvania at my grandparents' 90th birthday party-

and we found some more.  It looked like it came from his urine. CJ was not feverish, and was his happy self.  Monday and Tuesday we saw more, and finally I decided to call the doctor on Tuesday (after of course I found out from the dentist I needed a tooth pulled.  Not sure if I'm convinced this needs to happen, but we have put this situation on the backburner.)  They told me to bring him in that day, so begins our first trek to the doctor's office.  Of course I had already googled blood in the diaper and was sufficiently freaked out.  After waiting forever to collect a urine sample, the doctor told us there was some blood in his urine and that I should get his blood pressure taken at the hospital (Seriously?  A pediatrician's office does not have a blood pressure cuff small enough for a baby?) and then make appointments for an ultrasound and a nephrologist visit.  
Does this little man look sick to you?  I didn't think so.  Neither did the doctor.  I don't think he ever was.  Anyway, we did need to check his blood pressure to be sure, because if it was high he could have some major kidney issues.  So last Wednesday we headed to the hospital.  We needed to be quick because we were planning on heading to Syracuse on Thursday for CJ's baptism.  About 1:00 that afternoon we find that his blood pressure was normal and I call his doctor from the hospital to let her know.  She too was happy with the numbers.  We breathe a sigh of relief and I try to start preparing for our trip.  Around 7:30 that night the doctor calls me and says that she just looked at some blood pressure chart and realized that his blood pressure was on the higher side of normal and that we should get some blood testing done to make sure his kidneys were functioning.  This would require ANOTHER trip to the hospital.  We wanted to leave at 8 AM the next morning, so she made some calls and we were able to get it done that night.  Maybe she felt badly when I made it clear that I called her from the hospital earlier and that it sucked that we had to go back.  Little Man was such a trooper getting blood taken from his heel and dealing with his crying mother again (I was so good until I got to the hospital and realized I had forgotten my wallet...) by 10:00 a call from the doctor let us know that his blood test came back fine.  We were able to have a nice weekend in Syracuse, and even found that CJ's urinalysis came back negative- aside from the little bit of blood that was found.
Kevin's grandmother meeting CJ

Mom and Mary Beth in Skaneateles

CJ in his baptism outfit

CJ and "little" Anthony

Breakfast with our friend Debbie

Okay, back to reality.  Keep in mind that we were still finding "blood" in the diaper here and there and CJ still seemed perfectly fine.  Tuesday I took CJ to get an ultrasound, and from that we learned that there was a part of CJ's kidney that was minimally enlarged.  Both the pediatrician and the nephrologist the next day stated that this is fairly normal, but it could also mean a couple of things.  So onto the nephrologist visit.  I took in the ultrasound disk, blood test and urinalysis results, and a diaper from that morning with some blood.  First thing he said when looking at the diaper-"I don't think that's blood."  WHAT????  Then he looks at the urinalysis results and shows us that there were no red blood cells in the sample.  Are you kidding??? Shouldn't his pediatrician be able to read these????  He wanted to do another urine sample so of course we had to wait for some peeing.  In the meantime, he said with the enlargement CJ could have what is called reflux (not acid) and that this was something he would grow out of, but we had to protect him against infection.  So, we were seeing if the urine culture came back positive.  Or, CJ could have uric crystals or "pink diaper syndrome."  This is could mean he is not getting enough fluid, or again it could be something he will just grow out of.  Funny thing is, I asked his pediatrician about this because I read about it on google, but she said that it really only occurs in very young babies.  The nephrologist said that it could start now at 3 months.  Ugh.  Finally, CJ peed (and pooped) and the doctor went to look at his urine under the microscope.  He came back and was not happy because he found some white blood cells (still no red).  He wanted to send it off for a culture to see if CJ did indeed have an infection.  I was supposed to call back on Friday.  
Fast forward to Friday.  Basically, the urine was contaminated (ummmm he did poop!) so they wanted us to go to the pediatrician to get ANOTHER urine sample with a catheter this time.  This poor little man still was happy as can be and they wanted to stick a catheter in his penis?  The pediatricians agreed that they should never have sent the urine from the poopy diaper in the first place and that we could try a bag one more time and see how that comes out.  2 hours there, no pee, ended up getting the sample today at home.  Still no answers.  

I know this has been a long update, but it's been a long 2 weeks.  First of all, I have been an emotional wreck, especially during those first 2 days before our trip.  I think I have cried more than CJ!  How can I hold it together when he sick later down the road and he actually can tell I'm upset?  All of these contradictions have been bothering us as well.  We were recommended this pediatric group by several people so we definitely want to trust them.  I am one who will listen to whatever a doctor says; after all, they are the ones who went through years and years of schooling for their degrees.  It really is painful to not know who to believe.  Plus, poor Little Man has been poked and prodded so much- he still may need a catheter for either another urine sample or a test to see if he has the reflux- do we really need to put him through all of this?  This question has been a cause of stress and debate between Kevin and I- but we need be able to cross things off of a list.  

We don't have an end to this story yet- but pray that we can get some answers soon and that these answers will make most of the running around and stress of the last few weeks a waste of time and energy.  We need to get back to my continued enjoyment of being at home (and, well, I guess I need to take care of this bad tooth- let's bet on how many differing opinions I can get on interal resorption.  Start your googling now.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's October!

Have I mentioned how much it's rained in September?  Well, to refresh your memory, we've had a whole lot of freakin' rain.  This did not used to bother me much since I would be stuck in a classroom anyway during the week and welcomed the opportunity to be lazy and read on the weekend (provided we had nothing outdoorsy planned of course).  Now, the weeks of gloominess just got down right depressing.  Errands kept getting put off because who likes to take a baby out in the rain?  Not this chick.  However, I made the best of the crappy weather by using it as an excuse to truly get into the fall spirit.  I was so busy on these rainy days getting stuff done around the house along with taking care of the baby that I felt I was accomplishing more than if I was working!  Too bad I don't get paid for decorating the house and entertaining family! 

We invited Kevin's cousins over to meet CJ and I made Pumpkin Orange Cake.  It looks pretty here, but once we cut into it the icing slid off.  Weird.
I even dressed CJ up in a cute Halloween onesie.  Unfortunately, we have learned the hard way that he is ready for Size 2 diapers because he is now in the habit of pooping up and out.  This majority-white garment has been a victim twice now. 

Sunday only made it to a damp 48 degrees, so we spent the day watching football in front of the first fire of the season.  Kevin also got me a pumpkin tree (who knew???) to round out my fall decor.  I have it sitting next to a candy dish full of candy corn that I also think is very decorative- but with my dad here working on one of his properties it is not lasting very long...

Finally!!! Tuesday the sun came out and the weather was mild.  For the first time in what seemed like a month, CJ and I could take a walk outside.  We even noticed more signs of fall- the leaves have started to turn. 

We even picked out some mums and pumpkins at Meadows Farms.  Yes, I did prop him up on some pumpkins, and yes he did almost fall over into the hay.  Yes, his cute Peanuts Great Pumpkin onesie had poop on it so that's why CJ is sadly not dressed in Halloween attire.  Next year these pictures will be so much easier to take and I won't look like such an idiot and bad mother trying to pose the baby.  Unless, of course, CJ won't sit still for 10 seconds.  Then I'll just be a bad mother for yelling at him to plop his rear end down.  :)

This past week I even found time to attend my first MOMS Club event- Cooking Club- with the theme of apples.  I met some really nice ladies, and am excited to get more involved.  One of Kevin's worries about me staying at home was that I was going to get bored, but I definitely am not.  I am busily enjoying fall more than I ever have.   


Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Going to the Beach Out of Season (and With a Baby)

Finally!  A long 2 weeks since my last post, but we have all been super busy! 

Because I am a teacher, since 1985 I have not celebrated the new year in January.  It is always at the end of August/beginning of September.  I have had pretty much the same vacation schedule every year.  Maybe a trip at Christmas. Possibly a week-long trip in March or April.  Definitely a week-long or more vacation in the summer.  A vacation in September when the school year is just starting?  NEVER.  What about May, when the weather is beautiful almost anywhere but lodging prices are still relatively cheap?  Too close to exams/SOL time.  I think I have gone to a beach almost every year, but unless we are traveling at least 1000 miles south, we don't even think about jaunting over to the OBX for a week unless the calendar says June, July, or August.  This year, though, for the first time in 26 years, we have been able to plan a bonafide beach vacation for a non-peak time.  It was definitely a different experience than our past beach vacations and it wasn't just because at this time normally I was whining about my school's two Back to School Nights we had to attend...

So here are the pros of going to the beach in September (with a baby).

1.  It is soooo much cheaper.  Okay, it certainly helps that we stayed at my parents' condo and didn't pay a dime.  But, if we would have had the whole Swift-Sheldon crew and rented one of those large houses with the hot tub and elevator it would have cost way less. 

2.  Virtually no waiting at restaurants.  This is a double bonus because even though CJ is usually great going out, he does have a time limit.  You also don't have to sit next to the table of 20 with 10 kids running around and screaming at each other.  This has happened before.  And probably will be us in 10 years.  

3.  The weather is in theory beautiful.  There was such a drought this summer down in North Carolina that even Hurricane Irene did not bring the area out of it.  However, the week that we were visiting Mother Nature decided to give the Outer Banks some much-needed rain.  I guess this is a con...

4.  No traffic!!!!   Again, a double bonus because CJ also has a time limit riding in a car. 

5.  Many cute picture opportunities for babies.  I can't wait until CJ is older and looks forward to playing in the sand. 

 Surprisingly, CJ did not mind the pool.  Yes, we did get ONE good day (a couple of hours) of swimsuit time.


1.  When the weather is beautiful, it truly is quite pleasant to sit on the beach (so I've heard).  However, there is more of a chance of a hurricane or cool, crappy weather in the fall.  See above.

2.  I cannot be antisocial and read 4 books sitting on the beach for hours when you have a baby.  Even though we spent a lot of time sitting on the couch inside, I actually didn't read much of anything.  Sigh. 

3.  You have to pack the car like you are moving to the beach.  Along with all of the general baby products that are needed to travel, you also need baby beach gear. Once CJ gets a little older and we throw in all of the toys to keep him and Kevin amused (so I can read some good mysteries again, yay!!) we are going to be really packed to the brim. 

4.  SAND.  This won't be as much of big deal when CJ is bigger and bathing him is easier.  No matter what we did, though, we couldn't keep the sand off of him. Along with making sure he was under the umbrella I wanted to try to keep out of the sun as well, because I know he would not appreciate traces of Coppertone and sand in his milk.  I still got burnt and sandy.

Pros and cons aside, CJ did great away from home and we had some wonderful family time- even though we did not come home with killer tans.