Friday, December 5, 2014

'Round Here


There's a sweet little girl that Buddy Boy is particularly fond of in his Pre-K class.  They paint together at school and send notes home in each other's bags.  He talks about her enough that Little Guy has started to have questions.


{overheard in the back of the minivan}

Little Guy: Are you going to marry {sweet little girl}?
Buddy Boy: I don't know.  We have to be grown ups first.
Little Guy: Well, when you're growed up, are you going to marry her?
Buddy Boy: Mmm, pwobably.


And THEN...
{overheard in a restroom stall}

Little Guy: Do you love {sweet little girl}?
Buddy Boy: Yes.
Little Guy: Did you kiiiiiiiiiiss her?
Buddy Boy: No. I told her I loved her.  But I didn't kiss her, because I had to keep my hands to myself.

Oh my goodness gracious.  Halt!


Life here is buzzing along.  Warrior continues to keep us on our toes.  He turned grey again a few weeks ago with a mild fever, which resulted in another night in the ER.  It took five sticks to get an IV started because his veins kept collapsing and only the third catheter attempt drew any urine.  The ER docs diagnosed him with dehydration, but that didn't really make any sense because we had shown up to the ER with a wet diaper and he had been taking about 2 ounces of milk at each feeding that day, which is a little less than usual, but not little enough to cause dehydration of that magnitude.  


His pediatrician thinks it may have been a stress response to whatever virus he was dealing with, which could explain the color change, the collapsing veins, and the lack of urine in his bladder, but she is having us get an echocardiogram to rule out any issue with his heart.



 The bigs are so, so good with Warrior.  Last night, Little Guy fed him a bottle while I got supper together and then Buddy Boy took over for the burping.  Baby Girl rushes to his aid all day...a squirt of "hanitizer" and she's on her way to insert passies, adjust blankets, retrieve socks.  And lots of cooing and clucking to go with.  "Ohhhh, baby.  Fweet baby.  I fink Mama's comin'.  Oh, you say, 'Where my MILK?' She comin' riiiiiiiight now.  Fweet baby.  You ok, fweet baby."


Buddy Boy started insulin pump therapy in September.  The pump has been a really helpful tool in managing his blood sugar levels.  Contrary to what I imagined before we began this journey a year ago,  the pump does not in any way assess his blood sugar level or make treatment decisions.  The pump only does what we tell it to do, so we still have to figure out what we need to tell it to do, which changes all day (and night) in a four year old.  But it does mean that we can give insulin in teeny tiny doses, which is what Buddy Boy needs, and can dose for snacks and second helpings and such with ease.  Before, Buddy Boy had to choose whether he wanted food enough to endure another shot.  I'm so thankful that decision has been removed from his life.


He wears the pump in a small, stretchy pack on a belt that clips around his waist.  A tube goes from the pump, which holds the insulin cartridge, to an infusion set on his backside, called the pump site.  The infusion set has two circular adhesive pieces, one with a needle that is inserted into the fatty layer of tissue.  The insulin goes through the needle and is absorbed into his body all day long.  He wears each infusion set for two days and then we change to the other side.  The pump is vastly superior to 8 injections a day, but it is not without pain...he bears bruises all over his backside.  We have a system now, where I get all the supplies ready for a pump site change and start counting.  He gives me a Ready, Set, Go, and I insert the needle and get it all taped down.  If we can do the change in less than 60 seconds, he gets to add 5 stickers to his sticker book.  Every time, I marvel at his bravery.


Little Guy had an All Saints' Day Parade at school.  He was Saint Francis of Assisi.


Thank you, Amazon Prime, for selling little doves already fitted with clips and having them on my doorstep in two days flat.  You always come through for me!


Baby Girl has apparently chosen not to speak at school this year.  This came to light one day when I picked her up and she came running out, exclaiming, " I SO 'cited you pick me up.  I so HAPPY you pick me up.  I fink you going pick me up!  I fink you not at hosbibal!"  Her teacher leaned out the door of the classroom and said, "I knew you could talk, Julia!"


Huh?


This little missy prissy, show-offy, sing-songy, absolutely hilarious thing doesn't talk to you?


Well, apparently not.  Not a single, solitary word.  Just grunts and pointing.  What a shame.  'Cause they are missing out.


Which I think she may know.  Which I think may motivate the deliberate silence.  In which case...yikes.

We're working on it.


Oh, we do love her so.  And she does know how to rule a roost.  Or a classroom.  Or both.


We're on preemie lockdown with Warrior until April...no traveling, no public places, very few guests.  Which means holidays at home this year.  Thankfully, the Mister's parents and aunt were germ-free and willing to come see us for Thanksgiving!


It was lovely.  Pinterest perfection lost out to paper placemats woven by the children, place cards penned by Little Guy, and a turkey and sides ordered from the grocery.  A few delicious homemade pies rounded out our meal.


There were hugs, snuggles, and a really hard puzzle.





We spent the rest of the weekend in pajamas, sipping tea, watching football, valiantly doing our parts to guard the baby from germs.



Oh, and of course, as with any Snodgrass family gathering, there were daring--dazzling!--feats of strength.  The family that planks together...


We have reluctantly bid adieu to our lovely, delightful Nanny, who saw us through my bed rest hospitalization and Henry's NICU stays.  She is on to new adventures, but we will miss her terribly!


And now, we hunker down for a long, at-home winter.  It's going to be cozy.






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Boo from Our Crew

Warrior caught RSV, which was complicated by anemia, and -- after stopping breathing and turning gray a few times one night -- logged another fifteen days in the NICU, where he received a blood transfusion and feasted on oxygen.

BUT he made it home just in time to don his Superman cape!

Baby Girl fully considers her leotard to have crime-fighting powers too.  Muscles all around!


This was the first year of big kid trick-or-treating for Little Guy.  He was leading the pack, racing to the next doorway.  No timidity, no holding back.




Once Buddy Boy was completely certain there were no wolves lurking behind our neighbors' doors, ready to pounce on unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, he was all about it too.


So! Many! Muscles!





Mouth full of candy and arms full of Daddy.  A very happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Home


 After a 37 day stay in the NICU, our little Warrior was discharged at last.




The children had only ever seen him once, through a window, but they loved him already.






Leaving the hospital was a little peek into the children's world as of late.  They'd been riding these elevators all summer long, visiting me, and they were old pros.



We stopped in to say goodbye to the wonderful nurses in the High Risk Perinatal unit and to bid a fond farewell to room 634, which served as both my sanctuary and my jail cell for those seven long weeks.


World, meet Warrior!



It's been more than a week now, all of us home.


It is so, so good.


There's a lot of healing going on around here.  Baby Girl has a book called Baby Faces with a picture of a sad baby.  She wants to read that book every day, and every time she tells me, "Her sad her mommy go doc doc.  Soooo sick, can't come home.  Her cry for her.  Want her come home."  A little projection seems to be therapeutic.  Along with a lot of snuggles.


The boys think it's "exgusting" that this perfect little creature dirties his diaper.  They love holding him, right up until they get the slightest hint that something could be in progress.  Then, it's hot potato.






Warrior's a bit delicate still, not moving along on the weight gain as quickly as anyone would like and having trouble with reflux, but we are working on it.  He's an expert at meeting challenges.


He likes to be held pretty much all the time.  Lucky for him, I find myself with about a 37-day deficit in baby holding, so it works well for both of us.




He looks just like the Mister, and the most like Buddy Boy of his siblings.  One of the funny--in retrospect, at least--moments of Warrior's birth was when I woke up in the Trauma ICU on a ventilator and started communicating in sign language with one of the nurses who has a Deaf cousin.  The Mister says I was just signing away, asking the color of Warrior's eyes and wanting to know about his hair, as well as Little Guy's kindergarten open house.  Priorities, of course!  Anyway, I'm thinking he may keep the dark hair and that those navy blues will turn chocolate brown like his daddy's.



This little one survived in hopelessness and persisted in battle, and we have been so blessed to receive him.  Our Warrior is precious to us.