Tuesday, December 10, 2013

keeping the focus

the wonder of Christmas is apparent with our little fellow.  he's infatuated by the tree, the lights, and the manger scene.  we tell him about God coming to earth as Jesus and what an amazing miracle it was and continues to be.  dax loves to hear the story and can now say the name "Jesus".  this past saturday we took him to see a walk through living nativity.  dax really liked going from scene to scene and watching the story unfold.  you could see the curiosity in his eyes.  no scene lasts longer than 3 minutes, so the attention span of a two year old is rightfully captured.  in the final scene we find Jesus lying in manger with Mary and Joseph surrounded by the wise men and angels.  will took him up close after most people had gone ahead so that he could be sure he saw the baby laying there.  his favorite comment when he sees something impressive is to say "oh wow" and he said it when he saw the baby there. 

with the hurry of the season and the previous desire to beat myself up for not pulling my ish together to do the elf on the shelf, the advent calendar (chock full of things to go, see, taste, and do), and other assorted pre-Christmas activities - we've decided to focus on the traditions we hope will keep the spirit of the season in our son's heart.  sure, we took him to see the lighting of the local town tree, sat him on santa's lap for a photo, and will take him to a parade - but showing him this living nativity, telling him the story at home with our various nativity scenes, rejoicing in songs about Jesus' birth, and praying in anticipation of the anniversary of the birth of our savior is what we're most happy to share with his little heart.  

i struggled with it last year.  i never bought the darn elf, and ended up being okay with that - but had every intention of doing the advent calendar. i'd gotten one as a gift from my mom and filled each pouch with star cut out activities to do with dax over the days leading up to Christmas.  i thought these things would make beautiful memories for him.  but then i realized the "stressed" out over worked mommy was probably going to leave more of a lasting impression than the activity time itself.  so i canceled the advent calendar as well.

this year is proving to be much more relaxed.  we've casually done things as we were able, and if dax couldn't hang because he was tired or just busy being a two year old it was no skin off my back.  but for the most part we've done lots cuddling - just the three of us, as well as lots of singing and dancing around the kitchen and living room and rejoiced in the birth of our saving grace.

he's tender, he's impressionable, and he's listening.  these are the things he'll remember and we hope he'll always carry with him.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

dax's surgery

the day quickly arrived for the ear tubes, adenoid removal, and turbinate reduction procedures.

will and i got up at 5am to get ready to head to the hospital.  we waited until the last minute to wake daxton from his slumber and quickly put on his coat and hat while he was still in a half sleep.  we loaded him up into the car and headed across town.  the drive is mostly a blur because i was dozing off while will was driving.  once we arrived we parked and got inside quickly to avoid the cold.  daxton was certainly wondering where we were and what we were doing, but he was still groggy from being woken up so early.  we signed in and sat until our pager went off the first time.  at that time we were called back to do the necessary remaining paperwork and sign off on the procedures.  we were then sent back out into the waiting room for a few more minutes before being paged into the back.
daxton was a trooper during pre-op.
daxton's weight was taken and then he was taken back into the pre-op area.  he was given a tiny gown and socks.  we got him changed up and he began to wake.  he played with raffie and a thomas train book i'd packed for him.  he liked being with mommy and daddy and jumping around the crib.  the nurses came in and out explaining what would happen at various points and checking in on us.  everyone commented how relaxed dax was and that they'd never seen a child be so calm.  he was in heaven once they found mickey and doc on the tv and at one point he laid back with his hands folded behind his head while he watched his favorite episode.  the nurses took temperatures, pulses, and filled out documents while dax just rested calmly in the crib.  will and i were nervous wrecks, but dax was cool as a cucumber.

once the anesthesiologist came in she asked if daxton needed any versed (aka - silly juice) because he appeared so calm.  however we told her that he would likely become upset when being wheeled away from daddy.  he is a pretty calm boy if his parents are at the ready, but if you try and take away his daddy (even to pump gas) he can become hysterical.  we opted for the juice.  once the juice kicked in he did seem a little "tipsy" with his speech, but nothing too over the top.  he continued to stay relaxed and seemed very content.  before we knew it the doctor had been in, we'd met with the anesthesiologists, and all of the pre-op work had been done.  at exactly 8:30 he was wheeled away (holding raffie) and never looked back.  we were so glad he went off without a struggle or tears. 

will and i gathered up all of our things and headed to the waiting room.  we had a pager that was to beep when we were to head to recovery, but we knew we had about an hour.  we ran down to the cafeteria to grab some drinks and muffins.  we barely chewed our food so we could hurry back up stairs to wait.  once back in the waiting room we sat nervously waiting for the pager to go off, but before we knew it the doctor and his nurse were standing before us.  we jumped up to speak with them.  the dr. confirmed that everything went well - that dax's adenoids had been large and there was quite a bit of fluid in his ears - but that he was headed to recovery and that they'd page us when we could go back.  we were so happy that things had gone well and that he was on the back end of the procedure.
these were our rough patches.
shortly thereafter our pager went off and we were taken to recovery.  here poor sweet dax was terribly upset and uncomfortable.  we'd previously been warned from the anesthesiologist and friends that this would be difficult, but nothing can prepare you for your baby going through this.  i attempted to sit in the rocking chair with him first, but he was fighting the cords, the iv, the gown, and the holding.  we struggled for about 10 minutes (which seemed like forever) before trading spots and having daddy hold him while i nervously dug through the diaper bag for wipes and sippy cups.  dax cried and wiggled around, unplugging himself from the heart monitor three times - i fought back the tears and tried to be strong for him.  it took about 30 minutes, but dax slowly began to work out of the anesthesia and the nurse (super annoying) brought him an orange popsicle.  at first he did not want anything to do with it, but after my persistence he ended up eating two of them.  that really helped him muster up the strength to get permission to get dressed and get out of there.  once he was dressed and all cords and the iv were removed he was content.

he cried a little bit in the car, but quickly dropped the sippy cup into the floor once we hit the interstate and drifted off to sleep.  once we were home we got him a fresh diaper and got him into his bed.  we checked in on him multiple times and gave him his pain meds, but he slept for about 5.5 hours before fully waking.  once he was up he needed a change of clothes and some food.  we got him some macaroni, then some apple sauce, then some banana, then some bunny crackers, and a lot of water.  once his belly was full he got down and played with his snowman snow globe for about 10 minutes.  we all sat together on the couch just thankful he was doing so well.  we let him watch a tv show and he was up for about an hour before it was his regular bed time and he decided it was time for night night.  he slept well that night.

wednesday we woke up and dax seemed a little stuffy and swollen, which the dr. warned us about.  we got him his breakfast and medicines and all snuggled into bed.  he was definitely uncomfortable and pretty grumpy.  we let him keep his passie and do pretty much whatever he felt like to get through the rough patch.  this was definitely the worst time frame aside from the recovery room.  we worked through it and he slowly made progress into getting back to his old daxy self later that night.  by dinner time he was doing full gallops across the keeping room floor and putting on a show for namaw and poppie (visiting for thanksgiving).  we knew our boy was getting back to feeling much more like himself.
before we knew it our boy was back to being himself.
by thanksgiving we had a lot to be thankful for.  our sweet boy was feeling good and woke up chattering and singing like his normal precious self.  he was excited to watch the parade, eat a hearty breakfast, and play with his grandparents.  you would have never known he was 48 hours out from surgery.  everyone told us that he'd quickly bounce back, but it was still hard to believe.  aside from a runny nose, he is doing exceptionally well.  he enjoyed his thanksgiving dinner by eating multiple rolls and a bite of sweet potatoes.  i fixed him a nice pretty plate, but he set his foot down and gave me a firm NO on everything i suggested he eat.  we knew he had his stubbornness back.  we've been to the park two days in a row and he's run and galloped across the play grounds to go up and down the slide - again and again.  we're so glad we opted for the surgery and hope that he continues to feel even better each day.  we should have his allergy testing back within two weeks, and will hopefully learn if there is anything we need to watch out for or seek further testing on.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

tympanostomy tubes and adenoid removal

13 ear infections in two years lands you straight in the office of an ENT pediatric surgeon.  we'd never really counted all of the times our boy had had an ear infection, but we knew he'd had quite a few of them.  we also knew that they were fairly hard to clear up on him and they usually always required two rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics to get him in the clear.  shortly after his first birthday we put him on a daily multi vitamin and a probiotic (he's also been taking zyrtec daily since he was about 6 months old).  it seemed to help him somewhat, but by april of this year we were full swing back into the ear infection cycle.  the pediatrician warned us earlier this spring that we might need to consider ear tubes for our fella, but it sort of never crossed our minds again until this latest ear infection.

this time daxton's ailments started with snuffles, grogginess, and just overall grumpiness back on about the first week of october.  after seeing what generally happens to him in these times i ended up taking him into the doctor and they prescribed his first round of antibiotics for this "full blown" ear infection.  the following week i took him back to the dr. because he still did not seem well and we had his birthday party coming up.  the doctor said his ear looked fine...  however by the following sunday he was back in the bed all day and clearly not well - so i took him back to the dr. again just before his birthday - and boom - raging ear infections again.  this time the dr. referred us to an ENT surgeon and said that they would talk to us about tubes and adenoid removal.

i am the queen of ear tubes.  i had them four times total (sometimes only in one ear) and the last insertion was done when i was 27.  i always had issues with nose bleeds and usually ended up at least once per month in the summer having to get my nose cauterized in the ENT's office or in the ER just to stop the bleeding.  aside from the nose issues i also had reoccurring ear infections that ended in my ear drums rupturing on a few occasions.  so, to say i am no stranger to ear infections and ENT offices is no exaggeration.

it's funny amazing how when God builds your family he lays his hand on it with his own divine design and gives you exactly what you can handle.  for me, talk of ENT offices, ear surgeries, and ear pain was just something i grew up knowing about and dealing with - so it's just no big deal.  poor will was a little more unfamiliar with the topics in yesterday's appointment, but the dr. explained everything very well and he feels very comfortable with our decision to have daxton's adenoids removed and have tubes put in both ears.

bless the poor fella's heart the dr. yesterday confirmed he's still got fluid in both ears and a slight snuffle.  he's pretty much been on antibiotics for a month at this time, and there is just not much more they can do for him beyond the surgery at this point.  we're hoping that this will help to alleviate the pressure and fluid build up in his little ear drums and that he'll suffer from a lot less ear infections moving ahead.  right now he's booked for surgery on 11/26 (two days before thanksgiving!) 

we're prepared that this is going to be a scary time for us to have daxton anesthetized, but we know that it's the best thing we can do for the situation we're in.  we're lucky to have the support of our family and church during the procedure and thereafter.  we were kind of prepared in the back of our minds that he'd have surgery for his ptosis next year, but we'd found comfort in knowing that this was still about 365 days away, so our first experience with waving good bye to our little fella being wheeled away is just going to happen a lot sooner than we hoped for.  while he is under anaesthesia they are going to do a blood draw to do allergy testing so we can see if we can pinpoint any triggers that he's allergic to.  we just ask for every one's prayers that this procedure will go as smoothly as possible and that our little dax will recover quickly so he can enjoy some turkey that thursday!  we'll be so thankful to have all of this behind us!

Friday, November 8, 2013

two - twenty four months

happy birthday!  daxton is officially two years old!  what a wonderful two years it has been!  our precious boy is growing fast and its just amazing to watch him develop from a baby into a little boy!

at daxton's last birthday he wasn't even walking and now our boy just runs and jumps all over the place.  if we go outside he takes right off and runs as fast as he can.  he's hardly ever still.  he recently decided to become a dare devil and now he likes to spend his afternoon doing tumbles off of the couch (head first) onto the floor.  he does it slowly so he can control the fall, and then as soon as its complete he does it again - again - again!  dax loves to throw things.  he unfortunately doesn't know the difference between throwing a ball and throwing a toy truck, but we're working on that.

last year i wished that my baby would eat pho, and this year he did.  not just once (confirmed no fluke) - but on multiple occasions.  he's definitely not as adventurous as i had hoped, but he does eat more than macaroni and cheese.  right now he's still in love with spaghetti, yogurt, smoothies, clementines, popcorn, pizza, crackers, and veggies disguised as "fruit" - i still sneak pouches in with mixtures of veggies to get some nutrients in him. 

dax's favorite toys are choo choos, rockets, toy dishes, toy food, cars, trucks, along with light switches - on, off, on, off, on, off - you get the idea.  (that all goes back to the adventurous thing where he likes to climb on any chair that he can find to reach the switch.)  he likes to make noise - singing, babbling, talking, and banging anything he can find on the thing that makes the most racket.  he gets such joy out of making noise that we bought him a tambourine on his birthday.  hopefully he'll continue to make a joyful noise.  yesterday he strummed will's guitar for applause.  he would strum some notes and then peek around waiting for us to cheer and clap.  we continued on with this for about 20 minutes until mommy's throat was too sore to cheer.  he probably would have kept up the concert all night.

daxton is full of a loving spirit.  he loves all people and appreciates the interactions he gets from all people in line at the checkout.  he hams it up and makes sweet faces to get them to talk with him and then he'll give them the "sassy eyes" and lay his head across the handle of the shopping cart as if to act like he never solicited any of this attention.  he knows what he's doing.  he still gets us with his "awwwwe" as he leans in for a smooch and a hug.  he loves to greet daddy every afternoon with full on smiles and lots of hugs and attention.  he's totally a daddy's boy.

for daxton's birthday day we both took the day off.  when we heard daxton rousting on the monitor we dawned our party hats and headed into his room singing "happy birthday" while dancing.

daxton danced around his crib and bounced from one side to the other while we sang every rendition of the birthday song that we know.  after about 8 versions daxton reached for daddy to lift him into his arms.

don't mind husband's bed head - this is real life people.
we continued to dance and sing around the room until it was time to hand over the passie and get a diaper change.  daxton had a birthday breakfast with his typical yogurt and fruit along with a buttered biscuit.  (biscuits are his new found love.  he normally never likes bread, but i think this may call for a trip to the cracker barrel.)  after breakfast we opened some gifts that had been mailed.

aunt sheree and uncle arnold sent dax two thomas the train books.  he was in love with them and especially has a fondness for the one that is a tiny view finder.  he spent most of the day on saturday shining it on every surface.  today i showed him that you could even shine it on your shirt and he thought that was pretty amazing.  

after the presents were opened and the dust had settled we took him upstairs to unveil his tiny little kitchen set from mommy and daddy.  

we played with the kitchen for quite a while.  dax prepared us some food, tested out the faucet by washing some dishes, and opened and closed the stove and cabinet about a hundred times.  we think its going to be a winner.

after we all got cleaned up we headed down town for lunch and an afternoon at the marbles kids museum.  we took dax to get some pizza for lunch.  it took a little longer than he had hoped for, so he ate quite a few snacks while he waited - but he did enjoy the pizza when it finally arrived.

after the pizza we walked across the park to get to the museum.  dax loved being able to do a little running on his own without any hand holding.

daxton was getting a little fussy by the time we made it to the museum.  he's used to nap directly after lunch.  however, in order to be able to go to the museum - we had to go pre-nap.  we weren't sure what we were going to get, but it all worked out very well.

daxton checked out every exhibit in the museum.  he had particular fun at the basketball hoops, the trampoline, the kid's kitchen, the dance room, the pirate ship, and the piggy money bank.  he ran and played until he could play no more.  we enjoyed every second of watching him smile, learn, and explore.  when he was all tuckered out we carried him back to the car and he fell asleep on the way home.  

poor fella napped for four hours.  when he finally woke up he wasn't feeling so swell, but we knew he needed dinner so we'd planned to take him to a diner for a milk shake.  we thought that would make his throat feel better.

unfortunately he did not want to try the milk shake by straw or by spoon so he totally missed out.  however, he was very captivated by the dinner served in a truck.  although a dinner of french fries (he passed on the grilled cheese) is not very healthy, you only have a birthday once a year.  poor fella coughed all the way home and then got his meds and went straight back to bed.

we've got an appointment at an ENT on wednesday, so we're hoping they've got some suggestions for our poor fella who has chronic ear infections and a continual runny nose.  i suffered from similar issues (and still do somewhat) so i know its no fun to have reoccurring ear nose and throat problems.  we pray we'll figure out the cause of all of this (suspected multiple allergies) and get to work addressing the cause so he doesn't have to suffer like this any more.

we're so thankful for all that this past year has held for our little precious boy.  he's a bright light in our family and we still miss him while he naps and cannot wait until he wakes up.  he's fun, he's smart, he's kind, he's handsome - and we just thank God for every day he's in our lives.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

3, 2, 1 - blast off!

we just celebrated dax's 2nd birthday this weekend.  we had loads of family and friends pop in and join us for this big day.  one sister drove in from virginia and even my little sister surprised us with a trip all the way in from chi town!  will's folks traveled all the way from mississippi!  it was great to have so many people here loving on our big boy!  we all had a great time and cherished every second.

dax has been in love with a little rocket his gran-gran gave him last Christmas.  ever since that time you'll find him (several times daily) shouting out "free, tew, one - blah blah" - which means 3, 2, 1 - blast off.  he does it with such energy and vigor - it's pretty adorable.  so, for dax's love of the rocket - we gave him a rocket party.

will downloaded tons of rocket ship and space themed music and i worked on setting the mood with the decor.  we decked the place out with red, teal, and silver.  the rocket motif was spread throughout the main floor.  24 balloons covered the ceiling in the keeping room where the mantle was lined with asteroids, a wooden rocket, and a giant number 2!  all of the food was marked with space themed wooden name tags, and everything we served was something dax loves. 
party favor room
rocket ship cookies
asteroids for party favors
spinning glitter paper banners
paper towel tube rockets  

a giant number 2 and a wooden rocket ship sat on the mantle
a cosmic cake shaped like a rocket filled everyone's bellies!
we served all of dax's favorite foods including popcorn (aka - meteors)
dax's all time favorite food - cherry tomatoes
dax does not care for chipotle cheese balls, but he does love crackers
having his party lunch
hearing the "happy birthday" song while the #2 sparkler was fired up
a game of "pin the flame on the rocket" was fun for everyone!
adults and children played!
there were lots of winners!
after a while we headed out side to set off some rockets in the front yard.
preparing for launch
and off it goes!
wow!  straight into orbit!
dax jetted around the yard with his jet pack
running all around!
here he comes!
birthday boy!
dax loved all of the attention he got at his party on saturday.  he certainly hammed it up for the crowd.  everyone was so amazed at how fast he's growing and participated in pouring out the love.  this party was definitely out of this world!

will and i both have off this friday for dax's actual birthday.  we're excited to celebrate a fun filled day at a kid's museum with him.  it will be another one-on-one day of focusing only on our sweet boy and the joy that he brings to our lives!