PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Reunion

I'm very delayed in getting this post written and these pictures posted. We enjoyed a family reunion with BJ's family in early September at his mom's house in Gatlinburg. We call her Nana Kaye. She has a beautiful, historic 1700s log cabin, which was moved to Gatlinburg from West Virginia. She has left the old cabin in it's original splendor and has added on additional space that includes running water and electric. In the pictures you can see the original cabin with it's faded logs. Before too long the newer additions will fade and blend right in with the old. She used the same log cabin building techniques that were used in the 1700s so that the old and new will eventually blend together.

The inside of the cabin is just as wonderful and I wish I had gotten some pictures inside. Nana Kaye loves primitive country style, but somehow she has made this style look and feel very comfortable. There are handsewn quilts, which she makes, and antiques in every corner. The sofas and chairs are soft, worn leather. And all the cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms are custom built from pine lumber. It's just an amazing place to visit, and the kids absolutely love it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trying to keep up

Lately around here it's been about survival. How can I take care of the kids and home just enough to survive and still get to lie down frequently because of the nausea and fatigue? I know this only lasts for a short time so I'm trying not to stress out over the cluttered living room and bedrooms. BJ has been great through all of this and he has worked more than ever with the kids and home on top of his full-time job, school work, and Bible Fellowship preparations every week.

Schaeffer had his speech evaluation last week. Turns out he has low muscle tone in his jaw and lips and cannot form the words that he is probably trying to say every day. Most of his words come out sounding like "ahh", "uhh," and "baa." Dee, the speech and language pathologist (SLT) who also worked with Lily explained that his mouth does not have the control it needs to form all the sounds he needs to be making right now. At 15 months he should be able to make all the constonant and vowel sounds by now. She pointed out that he is still making only the sounds that are formed with a loose mouth. It takes a lot more mouth control to produce the "eee" and "ooh" sounds, therefore, he still just says a lot of "ahh's" and "uhh's." Dee also explained that whenever a child has low muscle tone in the mouth area he/she tends to by-pass the mouth since it's not a fully functioning part of the body. Therefore you get a lot of sounds made in the throat or not much sound at all, which is what Schaeffer does a lot. He can be in a room playing for a long period of time and never make a peep, and then turn to me and start pointing and grunting for something. He's definitely very communicative with his body language and since about 10 months we have been doing sign language. He has started using the sign for "more." I expect the others to come soon as his motor planning skills improve. I don't know what the near future looks like for him in terms of speech, but Dee gave us daily exercises to do with him at home and he will be in speech therapy every other week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And the latest from here...

I'm still feeling yucky most of the time, especially in the evenings. I guess if I have to feel really bad during part of the day I'd rather it be when BJ is home and able to take care of the kids. I'm 8 1/2 weeks and only have to take progesterone supplements for 2 1/2 more weeks - that's great news!!

And some even better news, Schaeffer's pediatrician is wanting to wait on the CT scan. He will be waiting until his 18 month well-check to see how his head growth is going before making the decision to move forward with the CT scan. I'm thrilled about that because I hate putting my kids through testing - it's stressful for everyone involved. And that news also reassured me how this is not a big issue worth worrying over. If Dr. Feld wants to wait then I know it's not that big of a deal.

Schaeffer starts speech therapy on Tuesday. He still does not say a single word - not a single one - and he doesn't even have a sound for certain words, except for "bbrrrmmm" when he's playing with cars (such a boy!!). Dr. Feld's main concern wasn't so much his lack of words as it was his lack of babbling and variations in sounds. He believes the words will come eventually. At this point it doesn't make since to allow him to lag behind if help is available and we have the insurance to cover it. By 18 months, toddlers are putting together words to form sentences such as "more milk," "want ball," etc. A major leap in language expectations occurs in just 2 1/2 months and he will be falling further behind unless we seek some help. I know this road all too well since I chartered this course with Lily just about 2 years ago. At this point I feel like an expert in infant/toddler development. I just praise the Lord that we have excellent health coverage that includes developmental delays. I've learned that many people do not have that sort of coverage and in order to get help they must pay full price out of pocket or decide to not get the help their children need.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lots of updates this week

Finally, on Thursday we saw a good image of little Baby Three. We were able to get a good measure and the final word is, as of today at the time of this post, I'm 7 1/2 weeks making my due date 04.29.09. With my history of delivering my first two exactly 3 weeks early, this little one could be here in early- to mid-April, but hopefully no later than April 29.

I've been really yucky this week. I caught a virus from Lily that involves a lot of coughing, sore throat, and a sinus headache. It has made me more tired than usual and I've not felt like blogging at all. Even this post will probably seem very "to-the-point" because I'm already trying to figure out how I can go lay down for a bit.

Schaeffer had his 15 month well-check this week. He is a growing boy! His girth is exceeding his height. It sure does make him cute though. I love chunky babies! During his appointment, Dr. Feld addressed two minor concerns that we'll be exploring more soon. First, Schaeffer still says no words. We'll be starting speech therapy to give him a jump start so he doesn't lag behind for too long. Dr. Feld believes Schaeffer will just burst with language very soon. Second concern, Schaeffer's big noggin has made two major leaps in growth the past two visits. This time his head measurment is off the chart, literally. To be on the safe side Dr. Feld will be ordering a brain scan just to make sure there's nothing causing the excessive growth, but he assured me that he fullly expected to see that he just has a big head. Dr. Feld is very thorough and so I understand he would not want to leave anything to chance.

I'm hoping to get more rest this weekend before heading into another busy week. I pray I fully recover before Monday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Signs of Life in There

Today I had another ultrasound. The ultrasound tech prepared me before beginning the ultrasound by explaining that we wouldn't see much at 5 weeks. I expected to see the exact same thing that I saw last week - just a sack where a baby should be. But today we actually saw the little, living fetus. And the ultrasound tech said, "Wow! We can actually see a heartbeat today!" She had to point it out to me because it wasn't all that obvious to me. She was even surprised that we were able to detect it today. I return next week for, yet, another ultrasound (one thing is for certain, Dr. Brabson's staff is thorough). She explained that we would be seeing a lot more next week and that would help determine how far along I am. For now they are guesstimating 5 weeks, because like with all my pregnancies I don't have a clue. I'm just not good at keeping tabs on my body's schedule. When she measured the CRL (which stands for crown to rump length, I love that!) the measurement read, "Out of Range." Meaning, the measurement is still too small to calculate. Honestly, I'm not sure how the tech knew where the crown and rump were. Ultrasound is such an amazing and baffling thing to me.

From the beginning, I knew I'd need to find a new OB/Gyn since mine from my past two babies stopped delivering babies. I couldn't believe that she would do that to me before I was done! But, alas! I have found a new OB/Gyn and even though I have not met him yet his staff is amazing so far. Very thorough, super kind and friendly, and I feel very comfortable there. I hope I like Dr. Brabson when I finally get to meet him once I get past all these preliminary appointments.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Icky Icky Sicky

Ahhh, the lovely morning sickness has reared it's ugly head. It started yesterday with a full day of nausea. Today seems to be slightly better. I think it'll be worse on the days that I push myself really hard. I'm still trying to keep my running schedule until it's just physically impossible. I ran on Friday morning and then Saturday we did a hike and swim with our Bible Fellowship. It was loads of fun! But yesterday I was really paying for all that physical activity. I always forget how much energy a tiny little bean-sized fetus can suck out of me. Luckily, with this pregnancy I feel more prepared than ever to control the nausea and fatigue. I've already scheduled my day so that I get a nap around 2 or 3 p.m. when the kids are sleeping. And I've started on the gestational diabetes diet to keep my blood glucose levels stable. The diet consists of eating three meals and three snacks per day keeping it at a total of 2100 calories per day. Each meal or snack consists of 1-2 servings of healthy carbs (fruit, veggies, whole grains), one serving of lean protein (grilled or baked chicken, fish, turkey, nuts, and occasionally red meat), and absolutely no desserts or sweets. Right now the no dessert rule is easy since I'm not craving anything like that at all. In fact the thought of them makes my stomach curl. But later when my appetite is flying high and someone offers me a big piece of chocolate cake, I may have to stop and pray a lot!!!

Tomorrow we go back to the OB for another ultrasound. I expect to see the baby measuring 5 weeks. We still won't see a heartbeat until 6 weeks. Based on the nausea and fatigue, I have to assume everything is going the way it's supposed to.