Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leah's Hospital Weekend

Leah didn't have a great weekend.

We took a little trip to the emergency room on Friday evening and it was decided that she'd need to stay for a little while.  Three nights to be exact.  They had to flush out her digestive system with two gallons of GoLytely liquid to get rid of a partial bowel obstruction.  

Disclaimer:  This post may be too much information about Leah's bowel issues, so feel free to skip it!

To give some background on this little problem we've been struggling with for almost two years...

When I was pregnant with Anna, I was given Zofran for nausea.  Apparantly it can also cause constipation.  And I was still nursing Leah so it also caused constipation in her.  Going potty while constipated hurt her once, at about 14 months old, and she has never forgot about it.  She's been trying to hold it in ever since then.  We've been to the pediatrician over this many times and she's been on Lactulose and Miralax, but neither have worked well enough to overcome her trying her best to hold it in.

Last weekend her tummy started hurting on Saturday evening.  It wasn't too bad and I didn't think to do anything about it since she only complained sporadically and it wasn't an urgent type complaining. 

By Sunday night she was in a lot of pain.  I ended up sleeping in bed with her because she was waking up all through the night.  She'd cry hard for about a minute and then fall back asleep.  I made a same day appointment for her to see a pediatrician on base in the midmorning on Monday, but leading up to that, she was in intermittant intense pain.  It looked like the poor girl was experiencing labor contraction type pain sometimes.  Sometimes the pains would be just a few minutes apart, sometimes a half hour or more. 

We went to her appointment, I described exactly what was going on, but Leah didn't have any of those pains in the 20 minutes we were there.  The doctor didn't feel anything amiss when she pressed on Leah's abdomen and said it was probably gas or another side effect of upping her Miralax dose the week before and sent us on our way, with instructions to come back in a few days if it didn't get better.

That day it got worse and by that evening, we decided that it wasn't just gas and she needed to be fixed now.  I asked Chris to take her to the emergency room instead of going myself.  I seriously think that the doctor thought I was exaggerating or being too emotional earlier that day.  Either that or she didn't know what the heck she was doing.

So Chris took her in, the doctor saw some of her pain episodes, took some x-rays, felt and saw the #2 that was stuck in her, did and enema, and thought she was okay to go home with instructions for suppositories and a high dose of Lactulose.  She started having BMs everyday and we thought it was taken care of.

Come Friday late afternoon, and she's got a hurting tummy again.  The pains came pretty close together and we knew that waiting around wasn't going to make it any better.  I took her back to the emergency room at about 5:30 PM. 

They saw us right away, did a catheter urine test (OW!) to see if the pain was caused by a urinatry tract or kidney infection, and took an x-ray which showed that the blockage hadn't gone away from Monday night, and decided she needed to be admitted so they could give her the GoLytely (what they use to clean people out for colonoscopies) through a nose tube because there is no way she'd be willing or able to drink a gallon of that nasty stuff.

There ended up being two different partial blockages of impacted #2 in her and it took two gallons of the GoLytely to clean her out.  Getting the IV and the nose tube in her was so hard to watch, but knowing that it was much worse for her, I sucked it up and didn't cry (well, maybe just a few tears).  She cried for a few hours straight after the nose tube was put in because she wanted it out, but she finally fell asleep at about 3AM and when she awoke at about 7AM the next morning, she wasn't miserable anymore.  She asked every once in a while to get the tube out, but we just hung out and watched the Enchanted movie about ten times that was playing on the hospital movie channel.  Chris came up on Saturday to hang out for a few hours while a friend watched the kids and then I went home, cleaned myself up, and took a nap for a while and then went back up to the hospital.  I brought some books and games for Leah and I to play and that's pretty much what we did for the next two days. 

It was kind of nice to get to cuddle and hang out with my sweet girl for so long.  She shared her hospital bed with me and she was pretty content to just hang out in bed for the whole time.  

I changed a bajillion diapers and had to push the little nurse call button dozens of times because she was going so much, so liquidy, that her diaper leaked every BM she had and we had to change the sheets or bed pad every diaper change. (TMI?)

It felt like we were there forever and it got pretty boring sometimes, but it could have been worse and I was thankful that we were there for a reason that was not life threatening or risky or anything like what most people there were probably there for. 

On Monday, they decided Leah could go home.  Taking off the tape from the IV and nose tube was almost as bad as putting those two things in was.  I took this picture to show her that her nose tube was out so she would feel better after having the tape painfully removed, and she wanted to look at it several times but wouldn't let me take another, happier one.  (And all of these pictures were taken on my phone since I didn't think to bring my camera!)

But Leah is home now and we've been talking about having good #2 habits from now on and so far, she's been doing great.  Having the whole nose tube threat will probably work to keep her from holding it in again. 

And she's pain-free now and back to being a happy little girl.  And now you know more about her BM than you want too probably.

Friday, March 25, 2011

School - Week 24

Gabriel took the week off from his kindergarten work.  I had a parent teacher conference and decided that it was okay to give myself and him a break.  Because he's a pre-kindergartener doing kindergarten work and well, that means I can give him a week off if I want.  That's just the kind of week we had if anyone can relate.

But the older boys didn't get the week off, much to their displeasure.

We finished up reading in 2 Samuel and started in 1 Kings, continuing reading about King David, and we read some of the Psalms he wrote as well. 

We started reading about King Soloman as well.  Again, I'm amazed at how little I actually knew about these well-known kings of the Bible and it makes me appreciate this homeschool curriculum we're using even more.  And it's so odd how much less boring it is than I thought it would be.  :oP

Christopher finished up another lesson in his writing curriculum.  This one was about looking out a window and describing what he saw.  

And we are still getting caught up in art. 
I love how some of the lessons specifically tell us to go outside and draw God's creation.

The first one of these was the boys drawing a portrait of me, their momma.  Lovely, aren't I?  The one below those is copying a scene of an angel talking to a woman that was in their book. 
Matthew's on left, Christopher's on right.

And this lesson is a few sketches of dragons.
Matthew's on left, Christopher's on right.

These ones are some of the what they've been drawing in their free time lately.  They make up scenes from Mario Brothers video games on the Wii.  There are many many many of these types of drawings around the house.  They explain the whole level to me, usually when I'm trying to make dinner or something, and you probably need to have played the game before to be able to figure out what everything is.  And then they also make up their own stuff too.


Christopher finished his math workbook, Singapore Math 5A, this week!  I told him we can just do some math facts practice and games next week before starting the next workbook.  He was pretty happy with that.  Can't you tell?

And I thought I'd add these pictures...
I teach a Construction Art craft class for third through sixth grades at our homeschool co-op that meets weekly on Fridays.  We use materials that you can normally find in your home to make various artwork.  This week we made sock pets.  They were a hit and when we got home, my other children wanted to make some too.
Christopher with two classmates.

Christopher's, Matthew's and Gabriel's creations.

I hope your week was great!

If you'd like to read about more Homeschool Highlights from other families using My Father's World, click here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

School - Week 23

This week, Gabe has been learning about elephants and the letter "E". 

This is the first week that he has a little story to read.  We're supposed to cut it out and make it into a little book, we just hadn't gotten to that part yet.  He felt so proud after he read the whole thing by himself. 

Gabe with his words to remember.

We learned quite a bit about elephants this week.  For our map, we focused on the African elephant and some of his African friends.  We colored the continent of Africa based on whether it is desert, forest or grasslands and stuck the animals basically where they belonged.  We have a couple more animals to learn about in coming lessons before we'll take down our map of Africa.

Some cute little elephants we made from a toilet paper tube and this website.

 One of the books we read about elephants this week.

Our new simple supply caddy...$2.99 at the Container Store baby!


Christopher and Matthew are continuing to memorize Psalm 1 and they pretty much have it down now.  Matthew needs a hint or two towards the end, but they've only copied four of the six verses, so he still has two more weeks to get it one hundred percent. 

We finished up reading about King Saul this week and moved on to when David was king. 
I read Unspoken: Bathsheba from the Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers a year or so ago, and while it ws an awesome book, it was the most I've ever read about David other than when he killed Goliath with his sling.  The book did not make me think that highly of David since it was from Bathsheba's perspective and I didn't quite understand why he is considered such a Godly man. 

Oh, is that why I should actually read straight from the source?  (That was sarcasm.)
We've spent the week reading about David, and how he did mess up and did sin, and some of his sins were very serious, but God knew his heart, and he knew that his heart was completely for HIM.  How great is it for me, that the same man in the Bible that God loved so much and blessed so much, was a sinner, just like me.  I always will be, but I can still love God with all my heart and he'll know that, and love me too.

I never thought that reading through this part of the Old Testament would be something I looked forward to doing, and I am pleasantly surprised.  (Goodness, I sound like a heathen mom, don't I!)  I get so excited telling the kids about the lessons we are learning and how it applies to our lives and I just truly hope that some of it will stick with them.

I wonder sometimes, because Matthew seems to have a bored, distant look on his face quite often, and like I've said before, he often seems more worried about his next snack or meal than about anything else.  Lucky him, he'll be going through this same curriculum again in five years.  :o)

So at the same time as we're reading through this period in the Old Testament (and some of David's Psalms), we've read about a civilizaion from Phoenicia.  The boys got to see what their writing looked like, and wrote their names using their alphabet at the bottom of the worksheet below.

Matthew's name written using the Phoenician alphbet and his summary of King Saul. 

Christopher's summary of King Saul and his name using the Phoenician alphabet.

Christopher adding King David to our timeline

That's about been our week.

To read about more families' Homeschool Highlights in My Father's World click here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Game Night - DC-opoly Style

Last year our boys were obsessed with playing Monopoly.  They played everyday, and they are the type of kids who don't lose interest after thirty minutes.

At the same time, they started making up their own pretend versions of Monopoly.  They'd type up the names of the properties they'd have for their own Monopoly game.  They'd change the selling prices, the rent prices, the mortgage prices, the prices for houses and hotels.  We'd have about thirty sheets of paper around the house, printed out with all these pretend Monopoly lists.  They were obsessed. 

The plans for Christopher's Florida Monopoly

Then one day I got the brilliant idea to look on Amazon to see if they had a Monopoly making kit.  They did.  It was $30.  Thirty dollars a kit times three boys was looking at almost a hundred dollars.  Seeing how we were already on our second Monopoly game because things like that just don't last long when they get played with everyday in our house, I was not excited about spending a hundred dollars on these Monopoly kits that probably wouldn't last all that long anyways.

In steps my super hubby with his usual good idea. 

Just buy a regular Monopoly game for $10 at Walmart, get some sticky computer paper (I'm sure that's the technical name), design Monopoly squares on the computer, print them out, stick them to the Monopoly board, and viola!  The kids made their own Monopoly games (well Chris and I did help quite a bit, but they were each designed by the kids.  And it took awhile.) 

Christopher designed a Florida Monopoly game with properties like Lake Okeechobee, The University of Florida, and Disney World. 

Gabriel designed an Oceanopoly game with property names like Baluga Whale, Submarine, and Octopus.

And Matthew designed a DC Monopoly game (I think we made these shortly after our vacation to Washington, DC in April 2009). 

And that is what we played during game night this week.

We used the original money and game pieces, but in addition to making new property cards, we came up with new 'Community Chest' and 'Chance' cards, renamed "House" and "Senate" in Matthew's Washington, DC version.

 It was really fun to do with the kids because they were the brains behind the idea and they were so excited about it.  And somehow they turned out really nice looking.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's in the Park

My Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group met at our favorite park on Wednesday to have fun with each other using St. Patrick's Day as our excuse.  We had four leaf clover crafts but we mainly hung out together and let the kids play in this beautiful south Texas weather. 

Christopher with some of his favorite friends...they spent most of the morning back in the bamboo forest exploring and doing fun boy stuff.

Anna has no problem finding willing friends to hold her.  I think Jess is one of her favorites.  But then again, Jess is a mom of three boys and I think she likes holding my little girl too.

This picture just seems to Anna to me.  She's standing up in her stroller (being defiant) and stuffing her face with food.  This girl must be about to hit a growth spurt with how much she's been eating lately!

I love Leah's choice of shoes here.  I've learned that the shoes that she wears to a park is what whoever said the quote "don't sweat the small stuff" was talking about. 

If you have any kids under kindergarten and would like some good friends to hang out with, look up the closest MOPS group on  Being a military family, we have to plug in quickly when we move or by the time we find friends, it'll be time to move again!  I joined the MOPS group at our church within weeks of moving here and they were a life saver when we were going through Leah's hip surgery less than a month after we moved here.  (My blog post on Leah's hip have to read down a bit before I got to it).

Anna's starting to walk more and more, but I will be happy when she is walking well.  I see a lot of park days in our near future and having a crawling baby at the park is quite dirty.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Girls - A Photo Shoot

I took Anna to a local portrait studio a few weeks ago and it didn't go well. 
She didn't want to sit where she was supposed to.  She didn't want to be anywhere away from me.  She didn't want to sit by the huge teddy bear.  She didn't want to smile at a feather tickling her tummy or a bunny fake sneezing off of someone's head.

All of my other children have never had a problem with that kind of thing, but this little girl does.
While I took the four others to tons of protrait studios, I've always taken Anna's pictures myself (other than newborn) with my handy dandy Canon, but when I dress her all pretty and put a little bow in her hair, she knows what is going on and wants nothing to do with it. She furrows her eyebrows and wants me to hold her.

A smile?  How'd that happen?
So, I'll try yet again for her one year pictures sometime soon.  Or I may give up and take her back to a studio.

But my older girl?  She's about at happy to take pictures as you can get.

And I know that unposed pictures are nice to have, but really, I'd like a good smile from my little one too.  She does it so often when she's not in front of the camera.

But she was happy to get to play while Leah was posing for me.

In her defense, I'm sure that I annoy her with always having my camera in front of my face and calling her name while she's trying to explore and get into everything.  You'd think she'd just get used to it, right?