Life Is Just So Daily

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gripey Guts: MSPI Update. {LONG.}

So, I haven't blogged about Eliette's MSPI in a while.

Recap: MSPI stands for Milk Soy Protein Intolerance.

We've had to introduce foods slowly to her... She's done great with:
butternut squash, zucchini squash, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, broccoli, apples, pears, blueberries, beets, spinach, asparagus, rice cereal, mixed grain cereal, homney, bell pepper, and peaches.

She *may have had a reaction to green beans.
She *may have had a reaction to green peas.

So, she had a GI appt today at 9 months. I previously would have said that she definitely had a reaction to green beans, and had NO reaction to green peas. After talking with Dr. W, that may not be the case... With the green beans, it may have been at a time that she was on antibiotics for the first time, I can't remember. The reaction could have been to an ingredient in the antibiotic, not the green beans. With the green peas, the eczema spots that popped up behind her ear and on her thigh may have coincided with the peas, but I don't know. I didn't mentally put them together, so I just don't know. Ugh!!!!!

BUT, there's so much to blog about in the recent health/healing/illness that's been going on with Eliette. About a week or two ago (don't hold me to that timeline b/c things have been soooo crazy here lately): Eliette came down with a stomach bug. Diarrhea, vomiting, all the good stuff. When she was getting over that, she started acting like she didn't feel good.... she was refusing foods even though they were offered several times a day, and would only nurse for about 3 minutes at a time...then she'd pull off and refuse to eat. So, I took her to the doctor. Dx'd with strep throat. This is the 2nd time in her short little 9 month life that she's had strep throat. {As an aside: I have two streppy kids. One cell of that bacteria can float down the street, and you can be certain that it will land on my doorstep. My kids will get it.} Anyway---she was put on generic Omnicef on Friday. That's when the diarrhea began, and it did not let up. Got to the point of passing stringy, bloody diarrhea. I didn't initially freak out because you know---abx and diarrhea can just go together. Even when it got bloody, I didn't freak, I just was instantly thinking, "We are starting this whoooole process over again. Oh my goodness. There must be dairy in that medicine somewhere." So, I started looking online for the ingredients in the cefdinir suspension. I couldn't find anything... I called the pharmacy. The pharmacist did some research and called the manufacturer: soy. There's some minute amount of soy in the generic suspension of Omnicef and it may have torn up my baby's guts!

Ugh..... all of this was on Monday. What else??? Oh, so she had a total of 7 diarrhea diapers that day, and I swear it seemed like 5 of them were before noon! I think that we were actually at 5 total around 3 in the afternoon, but to say it was a rough morning is such an understatement.

The other kicker: she was supposed to have her 9 month check up on Monday morning & get shot #2 on her flu shot series (at this age they have to get 2 injections; she's already had the first one). Well, bright and early Monday morning, I go ahead and cancel the appointment because she hadn't been fever-free for 24 hours, as required for the flu shot. So, I rescheduled the appointment for Friday. It was probably 5 minutes after our previously scheduled appointment time when the bloody diarrhea started. Yes, I can totally admit that I had one of those: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME moments. Sadly, it would be the first of a few of those moments over the past 48 hours....

I can happily report that my husband came home to help me. School was out for President's Day. I had two kiddos at home. One was feverish and streppy and had bloody diarrhea. Needless to say she was a whole ball of fun, and her ass was chapping by the second. I could NOT keep the diaper rash at bay. I would just run her little hiney under the water....and we ended up letting her soak in baking soda baths to help soothe her tiny hiney. The doctor changed her antibiotic to a different drug based on the pharmacist's recommendation for it being dairy free, beef free, and soy free (Eliette's current dietary requirements) and still providing adequate coverage against strep.

Went to the pharmacy to pick that up.
"Did they give you a coupon to go with this?"
Ding-ding-ding! Red flag, why don't you go on up now???
"We're gonna call your insurance one more time to verify coverage on this."
"Okay, did I give you the new card? Oh, wait, you probably have it from last time."
"Okay, you're copay on this is $100."
"That's my CO-pay?"

So.....that was all yesterday.
Today? Eliette went in to the GI doctor today. The bloody diarrhea could be: c-diff, or truly a reaction to the small amount of soy in her medicine. Ordered a c-diff stool test. As I type this, I have frozen baby shit in my freezer. Do you have any idea how weird that is? It's so weird. It's in a bottle, in a zippered bag that they gave me, and in another bag that I declared necessary by myself. And why do they require that I collect it, freeze it, and then bring it in? Don't they have a flippin' freezer? Anyway....I've gone off on a tangent. Frozen baby shit will do that to ya....

So, if the c-diff test is positive, then we will NOT know if it was the c-diff that caused the colitis, or if it was allergic colitis from the soy in the medicine. If the c-diff test is negative, then we can safely deduce that it was allergic colitis from the soy in the medicine.

I'd really been hanging my hat on the hope that Eliette would outgrow these food issues, because I've been told by the doctor and by other mothers that most kids do. Here lately, we've been trucking along, thinking and saying, "I think she's outgrowing this." Her reflux seems resolved and we don't give her the Nexium any longer. She just seemed to be doing fine, and then stuff like this flies up out of nowhere. Dr. W previously told me that we'd go through the introduction of baby foods slowly and go depending on how that all went, then she'd be able to predict if Eliette will outgrow this or not. Also, I'd heard that many babies who have this outgrow it by 9-12 months. Well, we're at 9 months, and we've had this hiccup... when we talked about it today and talked about the differences between true allergies vs. intolerances, Dr. W says that it's just too soon to know which way she's going to go.

The other thing: soy and dairy being ingredients in medications. This is an issue for people with severe food allergies. This never even crossed my mind. I never thought to fully research the inactive ingredients in her medication as a source of something that could potentially hurt her. Well, let me assure you: her record at the pharmacy is now flagged with this information, and every new medication she starts will include a line by line consultation with the pharmacist to go over every single ingredient. We also discussed how at times, the only available medications that may be safe for her would have to be compounded just for her, and that can be very expensive. At times, if she needs a medicine, we may have to do the risk vs. benefit debate, and knowingly give her medications that may cause this horrible colitis, and treat the colitis in addition to treating the primary illness. THAT I can't imagine. I can see how miserable my daughter can be when her stomach is hurting so bad and her guts are bleeding inside. I can't imagine having to knowingly give her medicine that will cause that. So....then of course we talked about prevention of germs/illness and being hyper-vigilant about the cause. What may cause an easily treated illness in Gage may cause a very expensive or very painful to treat illness in Eliette. As is this strep throat. $10 copay for antibiotics for Gage, vs. $100 copay for antibiotics for Eliette, all after her tummy troubles and multiple dr visits and stool cultures, etc. when I pick up Gage from school, he will have to change his clothes, wash his face and wash his hands before interacting with his sister, per Dr.W's recommendation. Childcare at the gym? Not right now. Nursery at church? Not right now. Right now we've got to get well, and stay well and appreciate that if she gets sick, our treatment options may be limited, expensive, or painful. So again, the focus is on healing and health.

And the other kicker of the day: Gage has strep throat.
He doesn't even have tonsils or adenoids any longer! Even when he has strep, his throat doesn't hurt now. That's right.... His primary symptom? Coughing. So, he can cough a couple of times, and you think nothing of it, or think it's allergies... You certainly as a well seasoned mom don't go running to the doctor with every sniffle, cough or sneeze... and then you learn that with every cough he was spewing microscopic streptastic bacteria on surfaces and things that our daughter puts in her mouth.

Gage has strep.
Eliette has strep.
Gage is on antibiotics.
Eliette is on antibiotics.
They're both on pro-biotics.
I've been to the pharmacy 3 times since Friday.
We got a diaper delivery on Friday and they're almost gone now.

I'm exhausted from the past couple of days and my husband turned to me tonight and said, "my throat is hurting a little."

...all of this and I haven't even touched on a situation that I've had with my hip....that'll just have to wait 
for another day.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Just Add Water.

Seriously, some days can seem so long....with a little one who hasn't been feeling well, some days, some times, some hours, there is nothing else to do, but just add water!
And sink baths?? They're the BEST now that Little Miss Eliette can sit on her own....

She couldn't possibly even THINK about continuing her grumpiness in a sink full of water.

I just want to kiss that little nose!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

2nd Grade "Creepy Creatures" Music Presentation....

Gage's school had a singing program for all of the 2nd graders. All of the songs were about bugs and creepy crawler things. It was pretty cute. Gage was THRILLED to get to play the Xylophone during part of the program.

Pics from the evening, before the program:

Let the presentation begin!

...and in the group shots, he was standing on the far right of the stage, naturally.... until he got to play the xylophone, and then he was in the back... Such is the way of the school performance...

It was a great night for us.

Our sweet boy has come so very far from his first days of on-stage performances, when he would just cry and give me the "I can't believe you won't help me get off this stage" stare as soon as he found my face in the audience. My mommy heart is so proud of how far he's come!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


"Your absence has gone through me
like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color."
~W.S. Merwin, "Separation"

Allen would be 17 years old today.
I was a freshman in college when he was born. I was at Tulane University in New Orleans. Melissa & Jessica(W) may remember such a fun and exciting time in my life. I wanted so badly to make the flight to North Carolina to be there with my mother and sister right when he was born. No such luck. I ended up back at home in Texas, and my luggage was in North Carolina. Nobody was at home with me. My grandparents picked me up at the airport. It was kind of a crazy time.... 

I returned to school after the weekend, and didn't get to meet him for a few more weeks. 

Allen, I first held you at DFW airport. You were so tiny and beautiful and I wanted to cry and just hold you forever. I wanted to study every tiny detail about you, right then and there. I was already in love with the very idea of who you would be. I wanted to soak you all smell you and hear you and kiss you and snuggle you. 

I am so very thankful that I still have such vivid memories of that evening. It was a Friday night when I met you. What can I say? Friday seems to be my many important things have happened in my life on Friday nights.... So many good things. 

I love you, and miss you, and cannot wait to see you again. I don't know what Heaven is really like. I picture everyone as having a job to do...I don't know why I envision it that way....but I just picture peace, and harmony, and unity toward a greater good. And for some reason, I picture you, Allen as some integral part of a 'welcoming committee' of sorts. Isn't that odd that my mind constructs it this way? I picture Riley on a playground. Always on a playground. I picture Masyn there too, in a perfect baby whole-ness, with angels all around. 

Sometimes, I mentally take a break from the missing-you-anger-and-grief, and find myself thinking, 'he's the lucky one.' You are now in a place where I believe there is no pain, no suffering, no burdens of sadness for you, and you're with God. Why would I possibly want anything different for you? My own selfishness. My own guilt. My own wanting of a single second to tell you that I love you, I have loved you since the moment you were born, and to pile on a million 'I'm sorries' for anything and everything I failed to say or do or give in the right moments of your life, or those moments that I took you and your presence for granted....

I just love you, and want you to know that, just one more time... We are spending another one of your birthdays without you. 
I wish it were different.

"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated."


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Baseball Buddy...

Do you see that smile?
That's because he tried out for an area select baseball team. That's his new coach telling him, "You made the team!"

What did we do after that?
Celebrate, of course!
The above pics are from 1/12/14.
Now, practices for Spring have already started.

We were told what we were getting into....but until you're really doing it, you don't reeeeally know. We've got two 2-hour practices each week, then 1-2 thirty minute individual lessons each week....that's potentially 5 hours of practicing, on a non-game week. Game weeks apparently pack in even more baseball, and tournament weekends are two days packed full of baseball, aside from your during-the-week baseball.

....what have we done?!?!

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Sunday, February 09, 2014

She's mobile.

Gone are the days when Eliette would stay right there on her pallet with all of her toys surrounding her.

Around Christmas time she was rolling and scooting about....and for a while, she could only go backward, which was pretty funny.

And then, it all came together for her one day. Well, on 1/9/14, to be exact, and it just sooooo happens, that Mommy has it all on video!

So, there's a picture on Day 1 of crawling....
It was all over after that!  She's been on the go ever since!

Nothing is safe....

...and seriously. We had 38 weeks of pregnancy and 8 months since then to baby-proof this house. WHY DIDN'T WE DO IT SOONER????

Now that our sweet girl is mobile, she's no longer so sweet during diaper and clothing changes. She bolts at the first sign that you've loosened your grip, or even looked away for a split second!

I spy with my little eye....a tiny hiney! 

hahahahaha! {she's making a bee-line for the dog's water bowl....again!}


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

NY's Eve, 2013....

So, this New Year's Eve we went to Dakota's in downtown Dallas. Have I mentioned here how much I love the food there?? Love it!

Well, sadly, we got zero pictures from actually being there, but we got some pics afterward when we were all back home....

And the best out-take of the evening:
My husband's pose and gaze in that last picture just cracks me up!


Visiting with Gammy

Gammy, Eliette, & Gage.
Can you believe she's 92?
Gage and Eliette are so lucky that they still have 2 great-grandmothers. And yes, I know that I am so very lucky to still have two grandmothers. How very blessed are we???
(The above photo is from our visit 1/1/14, and the below pictures are from our visit 12/29/13.)

 (How neat is that teeny-tiny Nativity?? I loved it!)
They have bunnies at Gammy's assisted living, and Gage loves to go see them. They have a pair of caged birds indoors, as well as an aquarium. Gage pretty much insists that we visit them all when we go there.

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Blessing of the Toys....

So, the Sunday after Christmas, our church has "The Blessing of the Toys." Kids can bring in one of their gifts, usually their favorite one, and there is kind of a show & tell and blessing of the toys. It's a big hit. It's sooo cool.

Pictures: Gage is top left, holding his iPad, in the blue and black case...

....we almost got to see the use of a Pogo Stick in the Sanctuary, but alas, not this year....

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