Tales from my life as a mom of 2 sons and 2 daughters


Cheli On Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yes it's official, I am a slacker. I haven't updated the bog in almost 2 months. I'm awful. So pull up a seat, get a drink and get ready for a LONG update....

First up..
Including tomorrow there is exactly 100 days left until I graduate the RN program. Only about 50 days of that will actually be spent doing something school related though (after removing holidays, weekends, days off etc). Our finals start this coming week with our Med Surg 2 Final on the 25th. Followed by a long weekend (26th-29th) and our final in Community Health that following Monday. Then our psych class officially ends on the 9th of December. So about 2 1/2 weeks left of the 5th semester and the last semester officially begins December 14th. So close. In fact, November 10th marked 1 year in the program!

November 10th also marked Doug and I's 4 year wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been 4 years already. We get along the majority of the time but like any couple we have our ups and downs. I think once we get past the next 3 months we'll be good to go. Or at least a whole lot less stressed out over it all. Hopefully then I'll be able to concentrate on losing weight again, that is if I'm not pregnant by then...

River has been doing wonderful in school. He loves going to school most days and is learning so much. He just recently got a progress report sent home. Who knew that kiddos had progress reports at 3 years old LOL He is able to do everything they want him to do except for write his name and they are working on that now. He is so smart.

His behavior has gotten remarkably better. We still have some days where he just doesn't seem to be able to control himself but that's to be expected. He still has accidents with the pottying as well but I think it's more that he's lazy and not that he doesn't get it. Just not really sure what to do about it

Journey has been doing well as well. His weight seems to have hit a stall. He hasn't gained any weight since he was 18 months old (he just turned 21 months old this week). We took him to the pediatrician 2 weeks ago because he wasn't acting himself and come to find out our poor little guy has/had a double ear infection. They put him on a round of antibiotics. We told them about his tummy issues and they told us to put him on a modified BRAT (banana, Rice, Apple, Toast) diet and eliminate any dairy and see how that helps. It has helped him some. He still has tons of gas issues and now it seems to be effecting his sleep patterns as well. *sigh*. He was released from his occupational therapy last month (YAY!) but there is no end in sight for his speech therapy. Even though he is picking up some more signs he still really isn't talking at all. He has said a few words here and there but they aren't used appropriately or consistantly. *shrug* He went to the cardiologist last Monday for a follow up for his heart. EKG and echo tell us his heart hasn't gotten any worse and hasn't gotten any better. They want to see him again in a year. We decided not to send him to school after all because of his increased risk of infections and what not, we want to play safe instead of being sorry while we still can.

During the interim between when I lost posted and now. Doug's childhood friend came into town for a visit. The one we were planning on going to disney with. I wish I could say it went great but truly it was an extremely uncomfortable experience that did not go too wonderfully. In fact, it went dang right horribly. We wont' be going to Disney like we had hoped for Christmas and our plans for going to Texas are absolutely NOT going to happen :( We are looking into staying here for a while yet and then when we are ready to relocate, relocating to TN like we had originally planned.

While L was here, Halloween came and went. Journey was dressed up as Woody from Toy Story and River went has Venom from Spiderman 3. It was EXTREMELY hot here that day so neither boy wanted to keep their hat/hoods on (can't say I blame them). Journey tuckered out rather quickly but River had a blast! And has been asking every other day since to go to Halloween again LOL.

Cheli On Saturday, September 26, 2009
WOW so it's been over a month since I updated. Every time I sit down to make an actual update something comes up that pulls me away from the computer and the entry never gets written, so here I sit determined to write an update today.

Tuesday (the 22nd) was the end of my 4th semester of school. I finished the term with 2 A's and a B :( Which means I no longer have a 4.0 but that's okay, I'm doing the best I can so it's good enough. Semester 5 starts on Monday. On the agenda for this semester is Med Surg 2, Community Health, and Mental Health. This semester runs through December 9th and then I'll be in my last semester of nursing school. In fact, today marks less than 5 months until graduation date. Hard to believe it's almost over. With the start of the new semester is the start of my diet. I fell off the wagon at the start of last term with the stress of the semester and just wasn't able to get myself back on the wagon. Needless to say, the scale wasn't very favorable to me and it's totally my fault but it's time to get back with it and get the pounds off (again).

River has been in school for over a month now and he LOVES it. He's so smart. The goals that the school has for the 3 year olds to know by the end of the year, he already accomplished at the start of the year so they are continuing to work with him to further his education. He's learning letter sounds, sight words, and how to spell his name. He is amazing. He is potty trained fully during the day now. He's in " big boy underwear" from the time he gets up in the morning until the time he goes to bed. We still have him in a pull-up at night because he sleeps too soundly to wake up to go right now. He is still in both OT and Speech but it's looking like only another month or so before they will be able to release him from therapy. He's been doing great. We still have our good days and our bad days but with the start of school and the routine it brings, his behavior has significantly improved. THANK GOD

Journey has been loving being home with daddy, we had originally planned to start him in daycare the day that River started pre-school but mommy bulked and kept him home instead. However, we've decided that he really does need the seperation time from us so starting Monday he'll be going to daycare from 9 until 12 Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. We may decide to step it up to full weeks once he is comfortable going there and we can also do extended care which would give Doug the time to get a job which would be SOOO nice. He went to an audiologist appointment this week and was NOT impressed with the preecedings at all. He cooperated for a bit and then he was just over it and would not follow the commands anymore, so technically he failed his hearing test. We go back October 23rd to see them again and try a retest. He also saw the ENT the same day and we've decided not to schedule tube surgery yet, we want to wait and see how he does with the coming winter months, see if the ear infections start back up. We are to go back in January or schedule the surgery if he gets more than 2 ear infections between now and then. He was 24 lbs 8 oz at the doctors and just shy of 32 inches. He is still recieving OT and speech as well. His occupation therapist says he is doing SO well that when she does his reevaluation next month she thinks he'll be ready to not receive services. YAY! As for speech, he's learned quite a few signs and has an amazing comprehension vocabulary but he still has no words. Not even momma and dada. We'll continue working with him, he'll get it eventually.

Doug and I have been discussing what comes next for us once I graduate. What our plans for the immediate future are and the plans for the long term future. Our 2 options are to stay here in Florida, living with Linda for a while to give me time to gain experience in the field and give us time to pay off some of our debt. We would pick up a bill for Linda and ease some of the burden on her and it would still be extremely low cost for us. Our other option is to move to San Antonio, Texas with a friend who has offered to allow us to come live with her in her home and split the bills. The financial responsibilities would be more for sure but it would be a chance to experience somewhere different (ie get out of Florida) and also allow me the chance to learn a ton from our friend. I can transfer my nursing license out there and should be able to get a job releatively easily even with little experience. However the move would cost a good deal of money and would involve alot of work to move our children (and all the different doctors they need) out that way. I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of the choices but feel lost. One of the big things that we're waiting to see is how we mesh with our friend on a daily basis. We shall see. she's coming for a visit next month and then we're going on vacation together for a week in December to Disney. I'm excited to see what's coming next for our family no matter what the next might be.
Cheli On Friday, August 21, 2009
I told myself that this weekend I would update here and not the short little update either, a real update. So here we go...

School is going good. I have just over 6 months left to go. It's FLYING. We just took our Health Assessment finals and try as hard as I could, I couldn't manage to pull an A out of the class which ruined my 4.0. I did manage to get a 90 (which is a solid B) so it's not like I was in danger of failing but it was frustrating none the less. Then earlier this week I took my Pharmacology 2 final and found out today that I finished the class with a 97 which is an A. So now the only class I've got on my slate currently is Maternal/Child, which is the class I've been waiting on since the start of the program and it's not disappointing. We are over half way through the class and as such got our midterm grades this week. I'm currently at a 97. This semester runs through Sepetmber 23rd and then it will be just 20 short weeks left until graduation. It truely is just around the corner. I renewed my LPN license last month for the next 2 years as a back up just in case I don't do well on the NCLEX-RN next year which takes a little pressure off. I wish I could say I've been doing as well with my diet as I have with my schooling but it's just not the case. The stress from school sure hasn't been kind to my waist or my will. I really need to find the strength to get back to it. I need to find a way to afford the gym again. For my health both physically and mentally. I was a much more happy me when I was able to go work out.

River is doing well. He appears to have caught a bug or something. He threw up a few times last night and has been running fevers all night and day. He doesn't seem to be acting sick but he has been acting up alot more then he was so maybe that's his way of showing us he doesn't feel good. I'm hoping he feels better by Monday because that's his first day of pre-school and I'm SO excited for him. I went to a parent orientation for his school last week and got to meet his teachers and find out what class he'll be in. I feel like I'm going to be missing out because I won't be able to take him to his first day of preschool on Monday because I have clinicals and can't miss them. Doug has been sitting down with him almost every day and going through flash cards and a work book that we got him to help him learn different things. He definitely knows his colors, shapes, counting, numbers up to 20, his ABCs and can recognize his letters by sight. So we've been working on matching things that "go together" or things that "rhyme" and he's been doing really well. He's so smart. I can't wait to see how well he does this fall with an actual teacher involved in helping to educate him! His potty training has been going great. He goes most days with out an accident while in big boy underwear and wears diapers or pullups at night. I'm so proud of him.

Journey is growing up so fast. Monday he will start his first day of Lighthouse Learning Center, the daycare I mentioned earlier in the blog. And I must say I am apprehensive and nervous, and upset that I'm going to miss his first day as well. I'm not sure how it's going to go. He is very very people shy and very attached to mommy and daddy. I'm afraid he'll be scared and inconsolable while at daycare and I feel guilty for pushing him into the daycare when we don't currently NEED the daycare. I want him to get the socialization though. He's been doing really good with his therapies. The speech therapist sees him once a week and he's learned 4 signs. He is babbling a whole lot more than he was and his babbles are getting much closer to actual words than they were just a few months ago. He understands quite a bit of what we say but he still isn't saying much and doesn't really sign for things with out prompting either. I'm wondering how much is just him being stubborn and how much is his Noonan Syndrome. I'm not sure we'll know anytime soon. The goals for the speech therapy are to have him saying 5 or 6 words consistantly by January.. I'm not sure that's going to happen. Wondering what we do if it doesn't? Will they just keep going or will they start seeing him more often? His occupational therapy is going really well. He's much more into this therapy and is doing great. Unforunately I don't get to be there for this one either as I'm usually in school so I'm not sure exactly what he is and isn't doing that he should be. I should get to be there next week for his therapy though so hopefully I know more then.
Cheli On Monday, August 17, 2009
Both boys went to the doctor today. River was there for his pre school physical and Journey for his 18 month well child check up.

First River..
River was 44 lbs and 42 inches and is at the 97th percentile for both height and weight. He needs to go for some blood work that the daycare requires but they don't do them in office so we had to get a lab order. Should be fun. She said he's doing great. She said that his Left Eye came back a little "off" so they want to see him back in a few months.Then Journey...
Journey was 24.4 oz and 31 inches tall which is the 28th percentile and 12th percentile (50th on the adjusted Noonan chart) respectfully. His head circumference hasn't changed and is now around 50th percentile. He got 2 shots today. Cried until they let him go and was fine the instant I picked him up. He is good to go on his check ups until February when he goes for his 2 year. However, he'll most likely be starting his Synagis shots again next month
Cheli On Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I am really hoping to have some pictures of River to share with in the next few days. Getting any good shots of him is SO hard as he's never still and when we do manage to get him to sit still, he closes his eyes when we get his picture. But meanwhile... Here are a few of Journey.

This picture is Journey in one of his new 18 month jammies. They are still a bit big on him and he get caught up in the footies when he walks but the 12 months won't fit him much longer in the length so he's in the weird in between size.

Look at those beautiful baby blues!!!

As many of you know, we have had major issues as of lately with Journey getting some pretty nasty diaper rashes. This only started when we put him in disposables. It didn't matter how often we changed him or anything else so it occured to me that perhaps he's sensitive to the disposable diapers themselves. So a friend (thank you Stacey) suggested I try the same diapering system that she uses for her daughter K. These are g-diapers and inside are some prefolds (think the old style cloth diapers that many people use as burp cloth) so the whole system is completely reuseable which means 1) no more diaper trash and 2) hopefully no more diaper costs.. YAY Another really cool feature is they fasten in the back so my little nudist can't get out of them easily :)

"Hello... what's that??? You think she needs to shop taking pictures of me too??"

In other news... Journey and River will BOTH be starting school on August 24th. River will be starting preschool and Journey will be starting 3 hour days (9am until Noon) at The Lighthouse Learning Center. For those of you who can't get to the website right now.. it's a preschool for children with special needs. And best of all, because Journey is enrolled in Early Steps it is completely paid for. His therapists both see clients there so they will both be able to see Journey while he is at school and it will give Journey a chance to socialize with other children and adults. They have an RN on staff at all times and they base the ciriculum around each kiddo. And they'll work with his cloth diapers :) WOOOT.

River has been doing phenomonal with his pottying. He very rarely has accidents during the day and usually only when mommy and daddy forget to remind him to go. So it looks like he should be potty trained for school next month. YAY! He has been doing great with his therapy sessions and seems like our biggest issue lately is just normal 3 year old things like back talking, not listening.. which don't get me wrong, it's HIGHLY annoying.

School is going okay. The semester is proving to be a lot more time to consuming then I thought. I'm exhausted even after a night's rest but I'll get through it. (I hope). 7 months to go...

Cheli On Saturday, July 18, 2009
While we were out walking in our yard with the boys just a bit ago we came across this....

The poor thing appears to be hurt. He's trying to fly off but can't seem to get going. We called Animal control and guess what we found out... Animal control here is Monday thru Friday. So We called the local County Sheriff and told them that we have a hurt hawk in our yard and asked if we could have an after hours number for someone to come get it being that we have 2 small boys here. So they are contacting someone on our behalf and will send someone out here tonight to get it.

Meanwhile.. we are trying to make sure that none of the other wildlife bothers it :(

EDIT:::: We took the hawk to a rescuer this morning. It was a red-shouldered hawk which IS on the protected species list in Florida. She was doing okay this morning. Was feisty and ready to take off.
Cheli On Monday, July 13, 2009
Today was the start of the 4th semester. OMG welcome to hell. It's not that any one class is hard. It's that there is ALOT of effin work. What the hell was I thinking?? I got up at 6am this morning and I just finished my school work (or as much of it as I can concentrate on tonight) and it's 10pm. And the joy of it.. I get to do it all over again tomorrow. Tomorrow I have a day much the same as today. Then Wednesday I have Health Assessment with an instructor as yet unknown. Class should get out at about 1pm . Thursday is another long day. We're planning on being at the school until approximately 4pm but we will be getting IV therapy training. WOOT. Finally something new. Kinda.

Nice to know that when I come home I get to come home to someone as cute as this...

River has been testing our patience lately. He's become extremely defiant. Telling us NO when we tell him to do something. Telling us to "Wait a second". Stomping around when he doesn't get his way. He is still doing well on the potty training. No real improvement but no real back track either. So we'll take it. School starts in just over a month. I'm so ready for him to get back into the routine. He went for evaluation the other day at the preschool and they said that he is academically on track or ahead in every aspect. He is however lagging behind a bit in personal/social skill. No surprises there. Hopefully with some school and interaction with other kids he'll come up in that too. I know he's excited.

Journey will be starting a daycare a few days a week in the mornings for a few hours to try and get him used to socializing with other people and children. The daycare specializes in children with developmental delays and learning disabilities. So Journey will be in great hands. Early Steps and River's preschool director and therapy center all spoke high praise of the place. And best of all, because Journey has an IEP through Early Steps, it's covered. We pay nothing unless we want extended hours past noon. I'm STOKED. I'm not sure how well it will go over with him but I'm very excited. And I think his occupational therapist and speech therapists will be able to see him there for his therapy sessions as well so he'll be able to continue his care. It will be GREAT for him.

Doug is doing great with his massages. School and boys don't allow him much time to schedule massages but he has a few regular clients that keep coming back and that's always a good thing. He's great at what he does and he loves it. I'm hoping that if Journey starts the daycare center and River starts preschool that Doug will be able to start picking up a few more clients. If nothing else, hopefully my hours will make it easier for him to pick up an occasional client.

I got my CPR recertified last week so now I can start picking up shifts or sign on per diem with a facility for some extra funds as well. I'm hesitant to do it because I don't know how rough this semester is going to be. I want to try and settle into the semester before I start picking up shifts but the idea of having income coming in regularly again is SO appealing. I just don't want my school grades to suffer because of it.

Well it's 10pm so I guess I should stop writing and go to bed.
Cheli On Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Are you an organ donor?
Is it listed on your driver's license that in the event something should happen to you, you want your organs donated to someone else? GREAT!
Does your family and loved ones know of your wishes? Will they honor them if/when the time comes? MAKE SURE THEY WILL!

I am a registered organ donor and have been since I was legally old enough to drive. Although I knew the importance of being a donor for those who need organs, it never really affected me in my life and I never really thought much about it. Then about 2 years ago when I got pregnant with Journey I met a girl who was due almost the same day as I was. Jessica. We talked through e-mail and on message boards with frequency and grew to be friends. In February 2008 I gave birth to Journey and she gave birth to her beautiful little man, Logan. We both relished in our beautiful brand new little boys and enjoyed being new moms together. She was there for me when Journey was diagnosed with his heart problems (and has been there for me during all of Journey's subsequent issues) and when Logan was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease last year Jess was thrown for a loop and had to learn a whole new way of life to accomadate his special needs. A life of labs, dialysis, feeding pumps, medications, and the ever looming transplant.

Logan will be activated on the UNOS waiting list on July 28th, where he will join approximately 80,000 other people waiting for a kidney. He such a beautiful little boy with such a fighters spirit. His story and his life have taught me SO much about being thankful what I have, the importance of organ donation, and the importance of making sure people are aware of the the need for donors. After his transplant Logan will have to take antirejection drugs for the rest of his life. He'll eventually need another kidney transplant (about 10-15 years from now and every 10 to 15 years after) so his medical bills will be a long time coming. And I intend to do everything I can to raise awareness about the need for organ donation to make sure that Logan is able to get his kidney whenever he needs it.

For me, THIS is the face of organ donation... THIS is the face for end stage renal disease.. THIS is why it's so important for people to sign up for donation.

If you aren't a donor and would like more information on becoming a donor, please feel free to comment and I will make sure you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions etc.. feel free to message me or leave comments! And please spread the word about Logan's story and the importance of being a donor to your friends,family, and anyone else you know!

Cheli On Monday, July 6, 2009
I really need to update.. it's been forever since I have.

I finished my 3rd semester of school last week. I somehow managed to keep my 4.0 through the finals :) We'll see what next semester has in store. I am taking Mother/Baby, Health Assessment and Pharmacology 2 next semester. No surprise that I am slightly PSYCHED about the first :) Less than 250 days until I graduate. I'm very excited. I'm ready for the next chapter of our lives to begin. As far as my weight goes.. I'm stuck. I managed to get down to 153 and then gained a few lbs and have been hanging around in the upper 150s-160's since then. Don't think that finals helped much. But now that finals are over, I'm ready to start again. I'd REALLY like to see the 140s sometime soon. Boy you'd think when it's been this long since a real update I'd have more to say about me than I do.. oh well.

River is doing GREAT! He'll be 3 1/2 next month. His therapy for sensory integration is going good. He's made a ton of progress. His speech gets clearer every day. And he seems to understand what we're saying more and more as well. The things he comes up with surprise the heck out of me sometimes. The big news with River is that yesterday he started potty training and he is doing AMAZING! He is having 2 or 3 accidents a day still but he's also going on the big boy potty like 8 or 9 times a day. He is very interested and very into getting to wear his big boy pants and loves the praise he gets for going potty like a big boy. He's amazing! I'm so THRILLED that he's learning this easy. Everyone kept saying don't push him (not that we would have anyway) and he'd do it when he was ready. And it sure seems like it paid off. He's ready and it's going very easy. I'm hoping to have him day trained by the time he starts school next month. Yep that's right, August 24th will be River's first day of preschool! He'll go Monday-Friday 8am to 2pm and we're SO excited to get him back into a routine. I think it's just what he needs. His hair is growing out again. it's been 7 months since we had to cut it. I LOVE it looking long again. I missed it. He looks more like my River now.

Journey will be 17 months old in a little over a week. He's changing so much before our eyes. He's finally getting some hair (blonde) and his eyes have remained that beautiful blue! (YAY). He's got a mouthful of teeth ( 10 at last check) and he's such a chunk. I weighed and measured him here at the house and although they aren't the "official" stats. He is about 30 inches and 24 lbs. hehe. He has perfected the skill of walking. Is even running all over the house now. He's also learned to climb (and loves to show off the skill by climbing onto the couch and running along the cushions). He loves to play with his brother and he's a total momma's boy. He has a sweet beautiful little laugh that makes everyone smile and he's such a cuddle bug. He's learned how to give kisses now (big open mouth sloppy wet ones LOL) and will do so if you ask him for kisses. He's seeing a speech therapist once a week for right now and has learned how to sign "more" and "eat". He's started saying ma ma ma but I don't think he knows what it means yet. Still no actual words in his vocabulary. The speech therapist spoke with his early intervention coordinator a week or so ago and they want to get him started with Occupational Therapy as well. He is on a sippy cup now full time but doesn't seem to have the ability to sit up and drink from it so he has to lay down to do it. They think it has something to do with his trunk muscles. I think if he doesn't start showing some pretty good improvement in the next few months I'm going to talk with Early Intervention and see what programs are available for him that he might get more intensive therapy.

He was scheduled to have surgery on August 12th for his tubes for his ears but we got a call today from the scheduling center saying that the doctor had to go on emergency medical leave and won't be back until September so we have to reschedule the surgery for sometime in September by calling in August sometime to do it. Whatever. At least it's just for tubes. I'm really not even sure he needs the tubes. he hasn't had another ear infection in months. He goes back to GI sometimes this month for a re-eval as we've had him off of his acid reflux medication for a few months and they want to see how he does. He seems to be doing okay with out it. So hopefully come the end of the month he'll be done with one of the specialist. YAY.

Cheli On Monday, May 18, 2009
Journey went today for his official 15 month WCV.
Are ya'll ready for this???
He was 22 lbs 12 oz (22nd percentile) and 31.5 INCHES (57th percentile!!!!!) I made them measure him twice because that means he went up 3.3 inches in 3 months! Weight wise we seem to have hit that point where the weight slows down. He only gained 12 oz in 3 months.
He got 2 shots. The pediatrician wasn't happy with how far he's falling behind on his shots. Oh well. We'll get the religious excemption form so they will leave us alone about it.
And we got a referral for a 2nd opinion for Journey's therapy. She feels that he needs at least twice a week theapy sessions in both occupational and speech therapy. She is going to allow us to get him evaluated at the place River goes to. YAY! Figures now that we're switching pediatricians she decides to actually DO something. Oh well.

In other news.
Our car died on Mother's Day. We found out Monday that the timing belt snapped and because of the way the engine is built it basically destroyed the engine. Repair costs? over 3000 dollars. We decided not to waste the money on a car that already had 105,100 miles on it and we went out on Tuesday and went car shopping. We are the owners of a 2006 Chevy HHR and it only has 21,500 miles on it. The car payments are a bit more than we wanted but we can handle it. We are very happy with the car.
School has been going very well. I'm almost half way through the 3rd semester. It's ALOT harder than I thought it would be to do this program with 2 children. The work load is alot more strenuous and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. I'm really hoping to maintain the 4.0 for the semester but we'll see. My diet on the other hand hasn't been going very well. I've been stressed out over school and what not and just have not been adhering to proper eating habits. The scales showed it. I'm back on track today but I'm also expecting that wonderful monthly visitor at some point in the next few days so I'm not expecting the scales to be very kind for the next week or so either.
River is doing SO MUCH BETTER. We still have our issues every so often and he's still very opinionated, demanding, and tiring but he's doing alot better. He gets his temper under control alot more. We have to tell him NO or STOP alot less. He is doing much better with articulating his words and it's making it much easier to understand him. Now that it's sunny and warm most days we have the boys outside ALOT and that's helping him mellow out as well I think. He starts school August 24th, we are SO ready.

Oh and just incase you are curious as to what his shirt says it says "I run on Super Power" LOL
Cheli On Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Took little man to the doctor today for a recheck of his ears. They look GREAT. THANK GOD.
He'll be 15 months old in 2 days so we went ahead and got weight and height on him even though it wasn't his 15 month appt just yet. He is 23 lbs even ( with a onesie and a diaper on so probably like 22 lbs 13 oz or something) and 29.5 inches. Which means he's at 23rd percentile for weight and 6th for height. (wooooot still on the charts.. although height might not be accurate as he was fidgeting.. he'll get re measured next week). So his weight has slowed way down (he dropped 10% on the charts from 12 mon to 15 mon visits) and his height is tracking along at the same rate. On the adjusted charts for NS he's in the 50th :) WOO HOO.

He will go back next week for whatever shots we decide to get.

River is 42 inches and 40 lbs right now LOL.. off the top of the charts for height and at the top for weight.
Cheli On Monday, May 4, 2009
WOW has it really been 2 1/2 weeks since I last posted.. what a slacker I am. LOL Not that it matters, no reads this anyway I thnk.
I got on the scale this morning. Not that that's anything new. But the number on the scale was something I don't ever remember seeing I was THRILLED. So of course.. I got a picture. I'm going to move my scale picture day from Thursdays to Satrudays I think. Thursdays are one of the days that I have to get up early for school and I don't want to have to remember the picture and all that morning so Saturdays it is.. anyway..

I can not tell you the last time I weighed in the 150s. I'm SO excited. Mostly because I have 1.3 lbs to go before I am OUT of the OBESE catagory. YAY!!!!!
I started the 3rd semester of school last week. Boy oh boy did I get used to not having to study or do anything school related. I have 4 classes this time. Communications, Transitional Nursing, Chemistry, and Sociology. And All but the Communications comes with a crap load of homework. UGHHH Did I mention that getting homework done with a 3 year old and a 15 month old is close to impossible? I've been spending alot of time over at my friend Cindy's house. She doesn't have any kids just a couple of yorkies so it's nice an quiet over there. So far it seems to be working as I have a 4.0 average. My goal is to keep it through this semester.
River has been doing well. He is doing therapy for the sensory integration issue twice a week. They say he's doing great. I've noticed a SLIGHT improvement in his behavior recently. But maybe it's because I WANT to notice a difference in his behavior. I don't know. We enrolled him in preschool and he'll start in mid August or so going 8am to 2pm Mon-Fri. It will be GREAT for him. It will be GREAT for us. It will be GREAT for Journey. I'm excited for him. He does so much better with a stricter schedule and the school will provide him with that. Just 3 more months! He is getting so tall it's scary. We're in the process of buying winter clothes for this coming winter and we're having to buy 4T pants and 4 or 5T shirts. River Just turned 3 back in February. He's such a big boy :)

Journey finally started therapy through Early Intervention 2 weeks ago. His therapist comes to our house once a week for an hour for now. She's both his feeding and speech therapist but the more I watch him the more I don't think he needs the therapy for feeding quite so much anymore. He still has issues with liquids but I'm not really sure there is anything she can do for that. The feeding itself seems to be doing much better. The speech on the other hand.. leaves a lot to be desired. He says NOTHING. He will occasionally babble dadada or bababa but he doesn't put meaning to them and he doesn't say them during the right times so not one word. We are working on teaching him sign. We're working on "More" he's not impressed. His weight is doing good but his height still seems to be at a stand still. We went today to the pediatrician because he's been sick all weekend. He has yet another ear infection. So we have no been referred to an ENT. I got her to refer us back to the same ENT that did his tongue clipping back in December becausae I liked him. I'd rather drive down to Neumours downtown then use the ENT at the nemour outpatient clinic here in my city. I'm sure with the family history of ear infections and Journey's Noonan Syndrome (chronic ear infections are common due to the positioning of the ears) they will want to put tubes in his ears. We go back May 18th for his 15 month well check.
Doug's business has been doing well. We're starting to get repeat clients back which is GREAT and the clients are telling their friends and co-workers so hopefully we'll start getting even more with out having to do much advertising. It's great having the flexibility of being able to do schedule or not schedule as the need arrises. This is working well for us with the crazy hectic schedule we have right now.

Cheli On Monday, April 20, 2009
Meant to type this a few days ago and forgot... oops

We went to see Yanni's Voices Tour here in Jacksonville with a couple friends of mine. It was a spectacular show as we knew it would be (how could it not with someone with so much talent playing). My friend Cindy and I spent ALL day today getting "dolled" up. For those of you who don't know me. I DON'T wear make up. EVER. The last time I got dressed up and wore make up was when I graduated from the PN program back in 07. So tonight was yet another way I've decided to change. I'm going to start wearing make up more often. So we of course took a couple of pictures before the concert and I wanted to share. These will serve as an updated "me" picture. I'm approximately 162 lbs right now....

And here is one of me at my heaviest.. and actually from the last time I wore make up too LOL

Cheli On Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Well that last 2 weeks have been insanely busy for us. River went last tuesday and was evaluated at a Sensory Integration Clinic. He has Sensory Integration Disorder/ Sensory Processing Disorder. He is pretty far behind in some areas due to this condition and as such will be recieving OT and ST through the clinic twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) for coping skills and to help him developmentally. This about a boy who didn't qualify for Early Steps because he was advanced. LOL. We took the boys sometime a few weeks ago (March 31st I think) to get their pictures done.. I'll post some of our favorites at the bottom of this post.

Yesterday Journey went to the GI doc for another follow up. The doctor doesn't think his symptoms are conducive of his original diagnosis of GERD but he DOES feel they are very in sync with Noonan Syndrome. Surprise Surprise. He said that he's so sure that he's over the GERD issues that he's comfortable taking him off of Zegrid for the time being and seeing how he does with that. He asked if Journey had been evaluated through Early Steps yet and I told him yes and about how he will be recieving feeding and speech therapy starting next week once a week in our home. He said in his opinion he felt that Journey could benefit from more than just once a week and urged us to get a 2nd opinion. He also said he felt that he could benefit from some PT as well. Told us to ask our pediatrician for a referral. He is now 23 lbs even and 28.6 inches. He has officially fallen off the growth chart for height. In fact even on the adjusted charts for Noonan Kids he is only in the 25th percentile for height. But at least he's on that chart. Weight wise.. we're thrilled. Guess that's what happens when you drink 30 oz of milk a day.
So then today we took Journey to the pediatrician because he's had some ROUGH ROUGH nights the last 3 nights. Up every hour from 10pm until 3am tossing and turning through out the night etc. Well he has the start of an ear infection in his right ear but his left ear looks good. So she gave us an antibiotic. BLAH. Then she chewed me out because his shots aren't up to date. BLAH BLAH. I asked her for the referral to the evaluation center for a 2nd opinion and she wouldn't give it to us. *sigh* Said we need to either get it from the GI doc or we need to get the GI doc to fax them a letter stating that he wants him evaluated for more therapy sessions. Because I have time to jump through their hoops. Whatever. I think we're going to talk with Early Steps and see if they can recommend a doctor in our town who has experience with special needs kiddos because I'm becomming less and less impressed with our current dr's office.

OK so here are the pictures as promised:

Cheli On Friday, April 3, 2009
These are the Characteristics of Noonan that currently apply to Journey....

Depression of breast bone
Shortness of stature
Broad Forehead
Small chin
Hypotonia (low muscle tone)
Chronic crying in infancy
Overly Sensitive
Obsessive behavior; liking of routine
Extreme mood swings
Clumsy; poor coordination
Gross motor delays
Fine motor delays
Widely set eyes (hypertolerism)
Edema of the back of hands and tops of feet
Low posterior hairline
Keloids (excessive buildup of scar tissue on the skin following a cut or surgery)
Pigmented birthmarks(nevus)
Bruises easily
Low set
Micrognathia (small mouth)
High Arched palate
Speech and Language delays
Poor tongue control
Eating less than normal
Faddy eater
Digestive/Intestinal problems
Frequent or forceful vomiting
Swallowing difficulties
Large Head
Distended abdomen
Pulmonary Valvular Stenosis
Heart Murmur
Cheli On
Today was Journey's Genetics appointment.. FINALLY

In case you don't remember, he didn't have the test for Noonan specifically because there was no lab in our state the could do it and no out of state lab that would take our insurance. So they did a Chromosomal test and a Microarray instead and said we'd go from there. That was back in January that we got the tests done.

Anyway.. his Chromosomal and Microarray both came back normal. What this tells us is that he doesn't have a chromosomal defect or anything missing or out of place as far as that goes. However, the chromosomes have nothing to do with Noonan so he wouldn't have anything wrong with them even if he was a Noonan kid.

So where does that leave us? According to the geneticist it leaves us with definite characteristics for Nooan Syndrome but no way of definitively diagnosing it. The two ways of diagnosing Noonan Syndrome is to 1) do genetic testing specific for Noonan Syndrome or 2) be clinically diagnosed based on physical characteristics distinctive to Noonan. And according to her while Journey does have quite a few of the physical characteristics of Noonan and many "suspicious features" associated with Noonan they are far enough "off" to definitively lead to a diagnosis of Noonan. Apparently there are guidelines that tell them whether a child can be clinically diagnosed with Noonan and Journey's features are off by enough to do so at this time. She said that as he grows it's quite possible that some of the effects of Noonan and even some of the physical characteristics that he's displaying to a lesser severity could become more evident at which point they would be able to clinically diagnose him.

For now he is labeled as "probable Noonan Syndrome" until we can get the testing done (we were informed that just the first tier of testing is approximately 500 dollars out of pocket) or until he shows more definitive characteristics of the syndrome at which time it would change. She said she wouldn't be surprised if he has it and feels he probably does but that it really doesn't change any of his care at the moment or effect him in any way other than the ways we are already addressing, GI doctor, therapies for developmental delays, cardiologist, etc. She said when he hits school age it will probably become more evident if he is as his "short stature" will become more of an issue for him and at that point we would talk about Growth Hormone if needed. She said we would also probably what the defenitive diagnosis before he marries and procreates because he can pass this on although she doesn't think Doug or I passed it to him.. she thinks it is probably just a "fluke".

We'll see them again in January for another follow up and then yearly from there.

Cheli On Saturday, March 28, 2009
Time seems to be disappearing into a vaccum. I mean to update often and before I know it, weeks have gone by since the last update. Oops.

As it stands, I have 3 weeks left of my 2nd semester of school. I'm doing well, not as well as I probably should be considering this is my only class this semester but oh well. An A is an A , right? My last day of this semester is the 16th of April. The next semester doesn't start until the 30th of April. YAY. 2 whole weeks off. We are thinking about getting out of town during that time but I'm not sure that will happen. Next semester I have Chemistry, Communications, Sociology, and Transitional Nurisng. Oh boy.

My weight loss is going well. I'm at 172.9 this morning. My lowest weight being 168. I will get there. I will pass it. Hopefully soon. I go April 1st for my next appointment with the doctor. My goal is to be 168 by then. :)

Now for the stuff with Doug's work.. We spoke with them in regards to getting Doug put on a schedule that would be possible for us to manage while I'm in school. They said it definitely sounded possible, they needed to talk with the regional manager to okay the change, could the have a couple of days. We gave them 4. Doug asked and she said that she hadn't had a chance to talk to the manager because she had left town for 2 days. We waited until Thursday. We asked Thursday and she gave us yet another reason why she hadn't gotten an answer. So we decided that it was time to leave Massage Envy and try it on his own. So he has been out of Massage Envy for a bit over a week now. And he's doing just fine. He's getting 3 to 4 massages a week and more calls with interested people than that. Everyone he's massaging has loved what he can do. And best of all, he's making about 4 times the amount of money he was making per massage at Massage Envy.

We are taking the boys to get their pictures done on Monday. Finally. We never took Journey to get his 9 month pictures done as he was sick around that time and then around a year we just got really busy with him being sick again and we couldn't. So he'll be going in for his 12 month pictures at almost 14 months but oh well. And River will be getting his 3 year pictures done. I'm really hoping to be able to get a picture done of both boys together. We don't have one yet.

We took River to the doctor this past week because we are still thinking there might be something sensory going on with him. When we mentioned it to the doctor she more than willingly wrote a referal to a sensory integration department at a local medical center for testing. As much as I don't want anything to be wrong with him, it sure would explain a lot of his behaviours. Other than those issues, he's been doing great. He's so smart. I'm in the process of reading "Setting Limits for Your Strong Willed Child" in hopes that it gives me some idea of what to do with him. He doesn't listen, he back talks, he acts up. It's frustrating.

Journey is doing great. He is walking almost full time now and getting better and better at it. He prefers walking over crawling now. It's amazing to watch him toddle around. He is still having issues with feeding. He has major adversions to certain foods and he doesn't get sippy cups. Hopefully when the therapist starts coming around next month she'll be able to help him. He's still not talking at all. He's back to saying "Da Da Da" repeatedly but he doesn't really get what it means and doesn't make any other sounds. He goes Friday for his genetics appointment finally.
Cheli On Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Please keep Stellan and his family in your thoughts and prayers while Stellan fights
Prayers for Stellan
Cheli On Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Journey has been right on the verge of taking those first steps for weeks. He's gotten faster and faster at cruising the furniture and more daring by the day. He started taking chances by letting go of the furniture and clapping etc.. then he start to go from the table to the couch which involves turning around and stepping forward (falling forward). And then today....

All day today he has been taking a few steps here and there. He wants so badly to just DO it but just doesn't have the coordination or strength yet I don't think. He can take 4-5 good steps before he has to plop himself down on to his butt. Once he's down he starts clapping his hands like he's so proud of himself for it :) LOL And he watches everyone else to see if they are clapping for him too. This is how we keep him from crying when he falls or bangs into something, clapping and saying "YAY JOURNEY" and then he starts clapping too and forgets to be upset. I think we've created a monster.

We have also started teaching him the word "NO", he's into everything recently and pushing his boundries already. He does things and then looks to see if we're watching and guages our reactions. His favorite no no is getting into the garbage can. We have it under our sink in a cabinent and he will open the door and mess with the door (never the actual garbage yet) and we're trying to teach him that he can't go in there so we'll tell him NO. And he acts like his whole little baby world has just been ripped into shreds. LOL He sits down and his chin quivers and his face gets red and his eyes well up with tears.. and 5 minutes later he's doing it again. OY.

He is sick.. again.. we took him to the doctor on Tuesday for his Synagis appointment. They take his temperature and it was 100.3.. technically a fever cut off is 100.4.. so they weigh him in (which has turned into a totally traumatic event for him for some reason)and take us back to the room to wait for the NP to come in and assess him etc. She comes in after a few minutes and says that she needs to retake his temp because they can't give the Synagis if he's running a fever.. okay. She takes it and it's up to 100.8.. damn. 10 minutes and it climbed a half a degree.. He has a history of febrile seizures (October of last year) so we don't want it climbing fast. She assess him and discovers that his ears which were clear when we were there 5 days earlier for his yucky sounding cough, are now bulging and deep red. BOTH of them. Double damn.. So he's on Bactrim for 10 days. She didn't even attempt Amoxicillin because she said it's crap (I agree). He goes back in 10 days for a re-check. Poor kid. She also gave him something to try and help clear up his cough. It's C-Phen DM.. come to find out from the pharmacy this got flagged on his account as a no no because of his reaction to morphine. Apparently the "DM" that is on alot of medications is a derivative of morphine.. nice.. But both the pedi and the pharmacist said that it's so low of an amount that they don't think it would effect him any even with how serious his reaction was to it back in April. So we gave it to him.. luckily no problems.

Oh and for those who are interested.. he lost 1/2 a lb from his 12 month weigh in. He weighed in on Tuesday at 21 lbs 8 oz. And he's still only about 28 1/2 inches long.
Cheli On Tuesday, March 10, 2009
What would you do???
Doug and I are stuck and we aren't sure which way we should go from here..

As you know I'm in school for my associates degree. Starting in May I will have 4 classes a week and then in July I will have 5 days of school a week and clinicals. Clinicals will require some overnight shifts and some day shifts and 12 hour shifts plus the school work is a lot harder than I thought I just don't have time to study when Doug's at work and I'm alone with the boys. So we've thought of a few choices to go from here..

1) Have Doug stay with Massage Envy working the hours he is for as long as possible and then once it becomes not possible anymore have him stop and devote all of our energy into getting him clients independently to bring money in. Which would give us guaranteed money while he's with Massage Envy but by the time he needs to start doing it on his own he won't have had any time to build up a client base for it which could leave us with out enough clients.

2) Have him stop Massage Envy while we are ahead and have a good nest egg in the bank and throw himself whole heartedly into getting clients independently. Which would give him MAJOR flexibility so I can study and be gone when I need to be with out worry but not guaranteed work especially in the beginning.

3) Stick with Massage Envy, go full time instead of part time and find a daycare/nanny/sitter for the boys and try to get Doug's hours moved to daytime instead of evenings. This would be great but there are ALOT of what if's here. If Massage Envy won't give him daytime hours if we can't find an affordable sitter.We can't really put Journey in daycare so it would have to be a private sitter or someone with very limited number of children in their care. But if we could he would bring home even more money than he is now and he'd still be home in the evenings for us. Doesn't offer much flexibility in scheduling though as far as sick kids etc..

We have put ALOT of thought into this and we see the pros and cons of each situation and we just don't know what's the best option. *sigh* ANY input would be SOOOO appreciated.
Cheli On
I have a moment so I figured I'd shoot out at least a small update.

I am still losing weight which is AWESOME. Not as much this week as last week. As of this past Thursday I was down to 175.4 on the scale :) YAY. But the really exciting news as far as that goes is that Doug and I were at Wal-Mart yesterday killing time before our movie started and I decided to try on a few pairs of jeans. I grabbed the size I'm in and a size lower to see how far I have to go before they fit. AND THEY FIT!!!! I haven't been in this particular size since I was in high school, maybe even middle school.. I seriously don't remember (I know shocker of all shockers that I don't remember something). So I was seriously STOKED. I can stand for the scale to move slowly as long as I keep getting smaller :)

Doug is at a bit of crossroads in his career. He is still doing great work with Massage Envy but it's always been his desire to go out on his own and work for himself. Massage Envy while it gave him his start just doesn't really pay enough for a massage therapist. So last Thursday we placed a craigslist ad for massage services. By Sunday night Doug had done 6 hours of massage on his own! How awesome is that??? And to make what he makes at Massage Envy in a week he would only need to do 7 hours of Massage. We don't want him to stop working for Massage Envy until we know that he can make enough doing this on his own. But we can't really advertise for him to be completely available if he's working 25 hours at Massage Envy because by the time he's off work for the day or on his days off, he wants to rest. So we aren't really sure what to do.

The boys are both doing great. Journey is trying so hard to walk it's crazy. He just doesn't have the balance. He goes today for his synagis shot at the doctors which sucks because he's in such a good mood this morning. Oh well. We left the boys with a babysitter last night for the first time.. they did great. The only thing that didnt' go well was that Journey didn't want to be put in his bed to sleep. He slept in the baby sitter's lap until we got home LOL oh well. Doug and I got the chance to go out to eat and then to a movie (we saw Push).

Well I need to go get Journey ready for the appointment.
Cheli On Saturday, February 28, 2009
OK so I'm going to shoot for a real update.. we'll see if I get to finish it. The weight loss is going awesome. Today is 3 weeks on the phentermine and it seems to be doing wonders. I am exercising 3 days a week, eating right, and drinking almost a gallon of water a day and today I weighed in at 177.0 which 16 lbs less than I weighed 3 weeks ago! WOOO HOOO. It's exciting to have the scale moving in the right direction again. Next Wednesday I go back to the clinic for another month supply and my first offical weigh in.

School is going well. Listening to all the students who have to be there for all the classes complain about the work load they have makes me very happy that I don't have to be there for any but the A&P this semester. We had our first test in A&P 2 today. I got a 95 :) 7 weeks of this semester to go.

Both boys have been sick this week. Really nasty colds. Journey got it far worse than River did but they are both on the mend now which is awesome. River is getting really good at letter recognition of capital letters. He also knows numbers by sight up to 20. We are going to start potty training him sometime in the next week or so. We went out and bought him underwear and a potty chair and we're ready to get him out of diapers. I really think he's ready, I just think he's lazy. So we'll see how it goes. Journey is doing well. He is pushing things all around the house to aide in walking. He is standing unassisted for brief periods of time. Cruising the furniture. He still isn't really talking at all. He babbles dadada all day long but he doesn't know what it means and it's the only sound (other than crying,laughing, shreiking) that makes. It's okay though, it'll come. He's on milk now (no more formula YAY) but still needs it to be thickened so he doesn't choke on it. He has NO interest what so ever on using a sippy cup. But he has discovered the love of food (usually) LOL

Doug and I have decided that we have lost ourselves somewhere along the line so we are going to be taking steps to remedy that. We're going down to one computer and we aren't going to be on it as much. We are going to go out and do things as a couple and as a family much more often. We need it. We are also going to chisel our a routine/schedule for the boys. River used to be on a schedule before Journey was born and the schedule has gotten very very lax since then and I think BOTH boys would very much benefit from the structure of it. We are interviewing a babysitter on Monday for occasional weekends for us so we can go out just the two of us. And we are also interviewing a woman who runs a daycare from her home that will let us bring River 2 or 3 days a week so he can get some socialization and so we can have some time away from him. We might also leave Journey with her once a week or so to get him used to other people (he has major stranger anxiety and seperation anxiety).
His appointment with the genetics center didn't happen.. they didn't get his test results all in in time so we had to reschedule. Their first available date wasn't until April 3rd so that's when we go back.. another LONG MONTH of waiting..

Doug's work is going well. He's working on getting the rest of the CEU's that he needs before his license needs to be renewed in August. He's getting paid more and more each check which is nice. We are moving up on getting bills paid off and getting more stable. It's nice to finally be moving forward.
Cheli On Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The boys had their well child check ups today.

River had his hearing and eye sight checked. He passed both just fine. No shots. Goes back at 4 years.
He is:
Weight: 38.6 lbs (95th)
Height: 39.5 inches (89th)

Journey didn't get any shots done because he was running a 100.6 fever. We think it's his teeth but we'll watch it as he has a tendency to spike high fevers and has a history of febrile seizures. He's delayed (no surprise). He goes back in March for his Synagis and his MMR (if we decide to get it).. he won't be getting the Varicella one. He goes back at 15 months (May 18th) for his next visit.

He is:
Weight: 22 lbs even (34th)
Height: 28 inches (at the 3rd)
Head: 19 inches (91st)
Cheli On Monday, February 16, 2009
My boys are officially 3 years old and 1 years old respectfully. I can't believe that it's been so long since I first held them in my arms. It's crazy.

I don't feel much like updating as I'm a bit down so here is a short version..

The Good:
- my boys had wonderful birthdays
- I am losing weight on the diet.. alot of weight
- School is going well
- Doug is still gainfully employed and getting more clients every day
- We are ahead in bills and doing well
- We got a call today from Early Intervention that they found a provider for Journey's therapy but she's not available until April. Meanwhile we'll continue to go to Judy for the feeding therapy.

The Bad:
- my boys are getting old and taking me with them
- We got a letter last Friday saying that we have been booked an appointment with the geneticist for this coming Friday (20th). When I called today she said it was a follow up to the testing. We were told we wouldn't have to come in unless there was something to discuss.
- my house is a mess and I don't have the energy to clean it

The Future:
- Tomorrow I have to make a run to the school for some shots so I can do clinicals
- Wednesday Journey and River have their well child visits at 10am and Journey has his feeding appt at 1pm
- Thursday I have class in the morning until about 12:30
- Friday the genetics appointment at 2pm
-Next week I have CPR training at some point, an appointment on Monday and and Journey's Speech appt on Wednesday.

Cheli On Sunday, February 15, 2009

Journey at 4 days old

Journey at 3 months old

Journey at 6 months old

Journey at 9 months old

Journey today at 1 year old