Monday, November 29, 2010

Monica's Musings #10

Time for another one of my musings. I have a lot of little things to say, but nothing really hugely related to make one big post. So here's a mosh posh of my thoughts.

*I do not know why, but ever since CJ's birthday if you ask him how old he is he'll tell you he's 40. I always tell him he looks good for 40. He refuses to say he's 3. Doesn't matter who asks him either. He will tell anyone that he's 40. Recently we began asking him how old everyone else is too though. And well apparently everyone is 40. So those of you who are older than 40 would surely love CJ's answer. For those of us who haven't reached 40 yet well we aren't liking this answer much.

*I was recently looking on the Board of Education website and noticed their mission statement for their Food Services is to: “Provide students with healthy, nutritious and appealing foods in a timely manner and in a pleasant environment every day”.

Now what they actually serve children is every Monday they can get chicken nuggets or something else equally full of fat, Tuesday they can get a long dog or something else equally full of fat, Wednesday they can get a cheeseburger or something else equally full of fat, Thursday is a chicken patty or something else equally full of fat, and Friday is either cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza (they switch off every week) or something else equally full of fat. So it sure does lead me to wonder where are those healthy nutritious foods. I was speaking to the pediatrician about it because there is some concern about Kaitlyn's weight and she thinks I can get the menu changed. Hmmm, not sure how to go about doing that actually. I have emailed the Board of Ed about this, but haven't heard back yet. I'm thinking of setting up a meeting with the principal.

*Our health insurance won't pay for a 2nd inhaler for Kaitlyn to have at school. Well, they will, but I have to wait until tomorrow to pick it up. Thankfully it's not longer and I'm concerned about what will happen if I ever have to refill both prescriptions in the same month. I could end up without an inhaler somewhere. She has to have one that stays at school and I can't send it in with her or anything. So she has been without her inhaler at school until I can pick this one up. I'm relieved she doesn't have severe asthma.

*I failed my one hour glucose test. The doctor told me I needed to go for the 3 hour. I asked if I could skip that and she said if I prick my finger 4 times a day. Shockingly I opted for that. I've been through this before so I know what to do. I have to send her my results from the next week so she can decide how she wants to proceed. I'm thinking like last time it will just be to avoid really sugary foods.

*Kaitlyn has lost 2 art smocks now since the beginning of the year. I'm getting really frustrated with this. You see, she has never lost a smock before. Now I'm not naive to think that she's not one to lose or misplace things. She does it all the time here. However, to lose 2 smocks in a matter of months has me wondering. You see she has to share her locker at school with another student in class. I am concerned that maybe by accident this other child is taking it. I emailed her teacher today who assures me her locker buddy is a sweet boy. They checked lost and found and all of the lockers today, but it has not been found. They are going to check the art room tomorrow, but honestly I'm thinking her locker buddy got ahold of them and brought them home.

*Most of our Christmas decorations are up. We ended up rearranging our living room to put up the tree. We didn't have to, but you know I think I like it the new way.

*I got my ornament exchange partner. I'm so excited to get started on ornaments. Not sure what to make yet, but we'll find something fun for the kids to do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Let us not forget that today is not all about the turkey. Although it is a very important part of the day we must remember to be thankful today. I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm of course thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and enough food to eat. I'm thankful that we have family to celebrate this day with. I am thankful that we have great health care and are able to get a plan to fix any health problems we have. I am thankful that all of my children get to have a great education. I am especially thankful for great teachers like Kaitlyn's who take the time to see the potential in a bright girl like her. I am thankful for CJ's teachers who deal with 15 3 year olds everyday. I am thankful for all of Natalie's teachers who give her the opportunity to improve grades that she is not all that happy with and do whatever they can to help her to succeed to her full potential. I am thankful that my husband has a job, even if it does mean he has to work on a holiday and his schedule isn't always the most convenient for me. I have so many blessings in my life, but mostly I'm thankful that I am here to share my blessings with others!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

9 Families will have Thanksgiving this year because of 20 3rd Graders

This year Kaitlyn's teacher had all of the kids in his class do a penny drive to raise money to buy turkey dinners for needy families. Starting on November 1st and going until November 19th they were to bring in pennies only. They did not want parents donating money. It was to come from the kids. We did end up helping Kaitlyn by placing pennies around the house and giving her free reign to "find" them to donate to this worth while cause. I was not expecting the amount of money they had collected though. As a class of 20 3rd graders they collected $125. At the end a few school donations to their cause including some inspired lunch ladies by their hard work they managed to have $200 to spend and the ability to feed 9 families! So they took a walking field trip to a local grocery store where all of this stuff was purchased. I was lucky enough to be able to join them for the walk. The kids were all so great going through the store too.

Our group arrived and ready to shop

We got two of the turkeys

Kaitlyn got the pumpkin pie

Lets not forget the apple pie

The whole class outside the store

I couldn't stay to help decorate the boxes as I had to go pick CJ up from school. So I left my camera behind with the teacher to take some shots of the kids decorating the boxes for the 9 families.
Kaitlyn's group

Kaitlyn and Mr. T


Kaitlyn got to do another box

The kids all had such a great time and I think were feeling really good about their efforts. Kaitlyn told the doctor all about it at the doctor's office yesterday. She called Kaitlyn a hero and said her picture needs to be up in the "hero" room. I'm very impressed with the whole group and love that Kaitlyn got to be a part of this by having this teacher this year. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way for her first year at a new school to go and am so happy she's getting these experiences. There were times she wasn't sure she wanted to give up her pennies, but it gave us a chance to talk about how important it is to help those in need. After thinking about it she decided that it was better to help out and share her pennies. I'm very proud of her and all of those 3rd graders for doing such a great thing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Asthma and Allergies

So last week when we had Kaitlyn's physical we weren't anticipating anything big with her. Just routine stuff. However, after doing a breathing survey which they asked me to do the doctor said I think she has asthma. So she starts going into this whirl wind of information for me completely unexpected and asking okay so steroid inhaler, or once daily non steroid pill. I must have had this deer caught in the headlights look on my face because the doctor says to me would you like to go home and research this and discuss it with your husband. Ummm, yes please.

So what she did in the meantime was order an albuterol treatment for her to try at night to see if it helped her coughing at night. Told us to get some blood work done so we could try to find her triggers and come back in a week. So we left with a plan to come back in a week.

Well, the week is up. I used my time wisely and researched everything. Even had gotten the results of her blood test which showed she's allergic to dust, mold, and several different kinds of trees all of which are very common around here. Okay, allergies, good I can handle that because that's what I assumed was her problem all along. So I decided we'll start by trying the Singulair once daily non steroid pill as our course of treatment for Kaitlyn. I mean after all it's an allergy medicine that's supposed to help with all of these allergies Kaitlyn apparently has so it will be the perfect choice for her. Joe was in agreement. I am prepared though that if this does not help her that we might have to go to the steroid, but I want to at least give this a try.

So we went back today to discuss the plan with the doctor. She asked how she was coughing at night and I told her it's getting much better. She even has told me that she's sleeping better. Good to hear. She listened to her breathing and she does hear a slight wheeze. So looks like it's definitely asthma. Now it also turns out that she's not just kind of allergic to dust, but she's very allergic to dust. Can't totally eliminate dust of course, but she told me what we need to do to help her especially with sleeping at night. First of all her bedding (including her pillow if we can) must be washed every week or two in hot hot water. We should get mattress and pillow covers to repel the dust. And her stuffed animals will either need to be stuck in the freezer or washed in hot hot water frequently. Especially the ones she sleeps with. Okay, I can deal with that. We're actually pretty fortunate I think to not have carpeting here so I don't have to worry about dealing with dust in the carpet.

Now, our asthma plan. We will use the Singulair once a day at night before bed. The Albuterol treatment will now be used whenever she's going to be doing any strenuous physical activity. So the doctor has written a prescription for a 2nd pump and spacer to be used at school. We will mark her coughing on the calendar to see if she has improvement and this is helping. We will go back in a month to say how everything is going and figure out if the Singulair is working for her or we need to go to the steroid inhaler. I have all sorts of paperwork for the school so they can administer all of this to her. She will have to do it 30 minutes before gym or recess while at school.

So the next few weeks will be interesting. This is a whole new journey for me. Just when I think I've got all the kids on the right track. Next month I will be spending lots of time at the doctor's office actually with two more physicals to go. Lots of doctor's appointments coming up. I will likely be going to my own doctor much more frequently very soon too so gotta keep all of these dates in line.

Farm Adventures with Grandma and Grandpa

On Saturday Grandma and Grandpa came over and took CJ and Natalie out for a farm adventure. They got to see a bunch of animals and feed them. They were going to do a pony ride, but I guess it was too cold for the ponies. Judging by the over 100 pictures they came back with though I don't think that dampened their spirits at all.

Grandpa and CJ at the farm

Oooh a kitty

Hi horsie!

Time to feed the Donkeys. CJ needed a little help to not get his fingers nibbled on.

CJ made a friend. Apparently he named this guy Buddy.

Feeding some more animals

CJ chatting it up with "Buddy" again

CJ figuring out how to fix the old wagon

Back to feeding the animals.

CJ was trying to feed the birds. They wouldn't stay still like the rest of the animals though.

Petting the kitty

Feeding the horse

What does that say?

Got my shades on and now it's time to go

I think CJ had a really great time, but he sure was tired when he got home. I do believe he was out before his head even hit the pillow Saturday night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You know what they say about curiosity...

it killed the cat!

CJ is a very curious little boy. This is a good thing most of the time, I think. At least that's what I keep telling myself. He is forever asking, "What's that?" "What's that noise?" "Why?" And when I reply "Why not?" to that questions he'll repeat me, "Why not?" He stopped mid sentence at dinner last night to ask, "What's that noise?" because a firetruck was going by the street. He wasn't satisfied either until he saw it and knew exactly what it was.

This morning while waiting for what seemed like forever for Kaitlyn's bus he heard a helicopter. Now my dad inspects helicopters. CJ knows this about Grandpa. He had to know where that helicopter was coming from. He was looking all around. Although, not up. I told him CJ you have to look in the sky. So he looks up and spots it and says, "Grandpa give me one of those in my hand!" He thinks he can hold a helicopter in his hand! Then he wanted it in his pocket.

I'm thinking it's time we find helicopters that are not up in the sky because he seems to think they are small enough to carry. And really if he does try to hold a real helicopter in his hand, then curiosity might just actually kill a CJ.

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 Year Well Child Visit

Only 7 months after Kaitlyn turned 8 I was able to get her in for her well child visit. I had to pick her up early from school today to go. I was anticipating the only issue we would really have to discuss about her were her possible broken fingers. That turned out to be much more minor though.

You see when I got there they asked me to do this breathing study for her. I figured okay no big deal not much could come of this. I gave it back to them and they looked it over and the doctor said I think she has asthma. Uhhh, what? Asthma? That wasn't what I was expecting. She coughs a lot at night, but I thought it was dry air or allergies or something because it has always been a dry cough. She does it often enough at night and occasionally during the day enough that it has them thinking a mild case of asthma.

So now I have to make a choice. Does she get an inhaled steroid to treat this or a chewable pill? Both have side effects. Both have side effects that are very rare. Sounds like the doctor thinks generally the steroids work better. It's such a small amount of actual steroid she would get too.

I have to take her for some lab work tomorrow to check out how everything else is working in her and find out if she has any allergies. And then next week we go back with my decision on steroids or not and we make our plan of action for her.

In the mean time the doctor wants to see if a nebulizer type treatment helps her to sleep better at night. Looks like even though I usually say no to the flu shot for my kids I will have to get one for Kaitlyn though.

If Kaitlyn's fingers aren't better in a few days (when we go back for her appointment next week) then the doctor will send us to a hand doctor. Her fingers look better to me though. And we have permission to buddy tape her fingers too so she's not completely immobile.

Other than all that she's doing well. She weighs 79 pounds and was 52 inches tall. She got her Hep A shot. Her ear test went well. I do need to take her to the eye doctor though. She'll probably need glasses. This was when Natalie got glasses. The doctor was happy to hear she's getting the help that she needs in school for her reading finally too. Also happy to hear how much she loves math :). She said she always likes to hear when girls like math. Future doctor maybe?

Now I'm off to research. Steroid inhaler or Singulair to treat asthma.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Broken? Hairline Fracture? Contusion? Who Knows?

While we all enjoyed our day of play yesterday it was not without some drama. There was a point in time where Kaitlyn was running, she dropped to the ground, and her fingers were stepped on. She was in a lot of pain initially, but I didn't think too much of it. While it swelled up pretty quickly she was able to move it. So we continued our day and she even continued to play and roll down the hill. I noticed though that she was holding her hand kind of funny and she was still in a lot of discomfort as the day wore on. She had a hard time eating dinner and holding her fork even. So I decided to take a closer look at it. It was still very swollen and bruised and she was still in a little of discomfort when it was touched or moved. So Joe ended up taking her to the ER last night. She was all excited to have xrays and had to call me when they were done. Sounds like the doctor didn't do too much hands on exam of her though. Just looked at the xray and said he didn't see a break, but there could be a hairline fracture and the radiologist would look at it in the morning and call if there's a problem. In the meantime they were going to splint it and if after a few days it wasn't any better come back for more xrays. So Joe had called me and told me this and I was thinking the two effected fingers would have a splint and tape on them. When she walked in the door her entire hand and half of her arm was wrapped up like this...
The official hospital paperwork says it's a contusion, but we should check with her doctor. She just happens to have her physical scheduled for tomorrow though so it kind of works out. We are to ice 4 times a day though and keep it elevated. We did take the splint off for a little while today and she says it feels a little better. It still looks very swollen to me, but Joe thinks it's better than it was last night. So we still aren't entirely sure if there's any break there. It's on her right hand and she's right handed so she'll get out of writing in school tomorrow I guess. And I'm hoping the doctor will have more answers for us tomorrow. She's being a trooper though. Refused pain meds at the hospital. She's a tough kid. Hoping for a quick recovery here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Enjoying some Family Time and Nice Weather

Today the weather here in CT was just beautiful. And unseasonably warm. Temps in the 60's. Go figure, Monday we had snow. Ahhh as the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather in CT wait a minute."

Joe was off from work today which is rare for a Saturday. So since everyone was home and the weather was so nice we took advantage. We cleaned out the inside of the van and then went to the store to pick up some flowers to head to Joe's parents grave. Joe's mother's birthday was on Wednesday and of course his father being a Korean War Vet and Thursday having been Veteran's Day we figured this was the perfect time to pay our respects. We found their headstone and placed the flowers and Kaitlyn read her Me-ma a letter she had written her. Then we left.

Then we went and picked up some sandwiches at the store and found a park to eat our lunch. We had a nice picnic lunch and then the kids ran around the field for a while. CJ learned the fine art of rolling down a hill. Oh the giggles out of him. Then we headed back to the car and just went for a drive. Finally we decided to head back home though. Joe took down the Halloween lights and I started some baked ravioli for dinner. Now everyone's beat. Perhaps everyone will be off to bed early tonight. I love spending the day with my family. Glad we were able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby K'tan Baby Carrier

Since I found out I was pregnant one of my concerns has been do we get a baby stroller or not? Do we do a double stroller or not? You see CJ still likes to be carried a lot or pushed in the stroller. So while he's 3 and capable of walking if we go places where lots of walking is required we like to have the stroller. However, I don't want the back of the van taken up by two strollers. And most double strollers are pretty bulky. So I started thinking perhaps rather than investing in a large bulky baby stroller (double or not) that maybe a baby carrier of sorts would be better.

I was thinking maybe a sling this time. However, Joe didn't really like that idea. But in my search for something I came across this cross between a sling and a carrier. The carriers are tough because they are usually bulky and hard to get on and put baby in, but slings just seemed easier. But then there are the safety concerns with slings. Although, as with anything if you don't use it correctly you will have problems.

So I saw this Baby K'tan Baby Carrier and I liked it because it's good for babies up to 40 pounds. It also can carry the baby in 8 different positions which is great because then we can figure out which position the baby is most comfortable in. Most of the reviews I have read are positive. I'm concerned about the sizes it comes in though. I wonder if we'll need a different one for Joe and a different one for me to carry the baby in because it doesn't adjust to fit the person carrying the baby. Also, how do you know what's the right size to get when you're pregnant? I can't really try it on and get a good idea now if it's going to fit. I would love to hear some of my readers preferences in slings and baby carriers though. Even if it's not about the Baby K'tan Baby Carrier. What was your favorite? Why do you prefer it? Does your husband like it too? Have you had experience with the Baby K'tan? What are your thoughts, good or bad on it? If I'm going to spend $55 on it then I want to make sure we're going to use it. I've never been a baby wearer before, but with four kids and a very busy schedule wearing baby might just be the easiest way to go this time around.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank a Veteran Day

While you are excited for the day off from work or school today don't forget why you have today off. Be sure to thank a Veteran today if you can. Because without them the freedoms and liberties that we take for granted on a daily basis we would not have.

So thank you to my Dad, who served in the army, Joe's dad who fought in Korea, Joe's brothers, and my grandfather who is pictured below.

And lets not forget to thank the families of these brave men and women who are protecting and serving us. They are the unsung veterans who are left behind to keep things going on the home front while their husband, wife, son, or daughter are serving their country. So thank you also for sharing your loved ones like that. I'd especially like to thank my military wife friends Erin, Renee, Angie, and Michele.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ornament Swap

Ornament Swap Sign Up

I am joining "The Mrs." in an ornament swap this year. I thought boy does this sound like fun. Because lets face it when the ornaments come out every year the reminiscing of Christmas' past begins. For instance, I have this bell ornament from a friend in college. It's very special. It is from his country (India) so it's very unique and something no one I know has on their tree. Makes me think of him every year. Then there are the ones from my childhood and of course the ones my kids have made and the ones from their first Christmas. Great memories. Great stories to be told. What a great way to get a unique and special ornament. And knowing my kids they are going to love recreating a wonderful new ornament for someone else this holiday season. So go check it out. The rules are simple. Just get an ornament to your partner no later than December 15th. You cannot spend anymore than $10 on the ornament. Less is fine though. Have fun with this. Maybe you'll get an ornament from another country!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life Has a Way...

of getting away from you.

It has been a crazy few weeks.

CJ is another year older.

I am another year older.

Halloween is over.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

Things are crazy with the kids in school.

Natalie is still having a hard time adjusting to middle school.

Christmas shopping has begun.

Crazy amounts of doctor's appointments on the horizon.

Is it any wonder with all of this my blood pressure is creeping up?

So far all is good with the baby despite my health problems.

Almost done with my 2nd trimester.

February really can't get here soon enough.

This is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday CJ!

Dear CJ,
Happy Birthday sweet baby boy. So much has changed for you in this past year. A new home, started school, and a new baby sister on the way. You have taken everything with stride and a beautiful smile on your face. You have flourished. I cannot believe how much you've grown and changed in the last year. You are quite the show stopper. Always trying to make everyone laugh. And yet you have a stubborn streak. Daddy says you get it from me, but I think you get that from him. You have such a big heart. Always worried if someone is sad or even about the broken tree in the back yard. I know this is hard to understand, but not everything can be fixed with a hammer; try as we might.

I look forward to what the next year brings for you, but for now I will cherish you being 3. So Happy Birthday to you my sweet little boy. I am so happy that I am your mother. Your sweet smile keeps me smiling even in the most difficult of times. I love you.