Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Back Into the Swing of Things...

Three weeks ago my doctor decided that I had fully recovered from the trials of the summer and my surgery to remove the fibroid that caused so many problems. Two weeks ago I returned to work. After spending five months away, it's been really rough. I miss my son and the traffic sucks, but on the upside I can eat without having to rush (or worry about getting crumbs in my son's hair), and, most importantly, I have time to write again!

Unfortunately it's been hard to pick up right where I left off.

I have one story that every time I look at it, I wonder where the heck I was going with this particular chapter I was working on. On another story, I've decided that how I started it was too distracting, and that this one particular character was pointless. And it turns out a third story I thought needed more work is actually done and just needs to be edited. Why didn't I do that ages ago?

Anywho, today is Wednesday, and on Wednesday's I used to participate in this thing called WIPpet Wednesdays where authors would share snippets of what they were working on. Since I was able to get a little writing done this week, here's a WIPpet snippet. Today is 12/17, so here are five paragraphs (12-17=5) from the story involving Mary (whom we last saw in this post)

Mary froze. The earl was another one of her regulars, often visiting once or twice a week if she allowed him. While she enjoyed all of her clients, she had to admit that he was probably her favorite. He was only a few years older than herself, handsome, and extremely fit underneath his tailored suits. While she didn’t love him - after all courtesans could not risk falling in love - there was a definite attraction between them. She did not have to fake it with him like she had to do with others, and his more traditional tastes were a welcome relief after all the other fantasies she had to fulfill.  
However, it had been well over a month since he had last visited. Mary had assumed that he had retired to his estate for the summer, or that maybe he had finally taken a wife and was trying to have an heir. She stepped forward, peaking around the corner, to spy into the room.  
Hannah was correct, the Earl was occupying one of the parlor chairs.  He appeared as if he had lost weight since she had last seen him, his hair had started to go gray at the temples, and he sported a new mustache that curled at the ends. She was not fond of the fad, but she had to admit that he carried it well.   
Another courtesan sat on his lap. She played with his cravat, running her finger tip over the diamond pin in the middle of it as she whispered in his ear. He smiled at whatever she said, but he seemed distracted, absently spinning the glass in his hands so that the whisky swirled inside.  
Mary stepped into the room, holding her hands in front of her and cleared her throat. He glanced up and a slow smile spread over his lips as he recognized her. He stood, sending the other courtesan sprawling to the floor.
 To see more WIPpet Wednesday posts, go here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Steps Forward...

And one step back...

Or maybe to the left...

It's just a slight detour.

A couple of days ago I wrote about how we had started reducing the amount of rice cereal in Bug's formula. Well, Bug is a smart boy and figured out that the bottles we were giving him had less rice cereal in it than his other bottles. I don't know if it was the texture, or maybe the fact that it made the nipple of his bottles feel different, or what exactly happened - all I know is that he somehow figured it out and started flat out refusing those bottles.

First it started out with him just chewing on the nipples, or holding it in his mouth but not actually sucking. By the time we went back in for his next occupational therapy appointment, he had progressed to protesting the bottles rather loudly. He wasn't crying... just making disgruntled sounds in a very annoyed tone of voice, and the expressions on that little face of his! Any time we tried to give him a bottle, his eyebrows would draw together and his eyes would narrow - it was like he didn't trust us!

After witnessing all this first hand, his therapist suggested we give him one bottle with one ounce of formula mixed with two teaspoons of cereal, then another bottle with an ounce mixed with one and a half teaspoons of cereal, and then the remainder of his formula mixed with two teaspoons per ounce.

Expect Bug wanted nothing to do with that nonsense either - and frankly I don't blame him.

So my husband and I sat down and talked things over and we decided to go back to giving him just one bottle with four ounces of formula in it mixed with seven and a half teaspoons of cereal. It was the exact same thing as what he was getting before - just all in one bottle instead of spread out over three bottles over the course of a feeding.

Bug is happy again and is no longer fighting us over feedings. We're happy that we aren't having to make as many bottles, or clean up as many bottles at the end of the day.

Everything is golden.

And then we went in for baby boy's ultrasound to check on his hernia.

Now, of course the ultrasound tech couldn't tell us anything about if he had a hernia or not - we have to wait on the doctor for that - but it was pretty obvious that one of Bug's testicles hasn't dropped down. That explains why one side of his scrotum is larger than the other, and is probably why his doctor thought he had a hernia (though why his doctor didn't figure out what was really going on earlier is beyond me... but then we've been talking about switching doctors for awhile now)

It should resolve itself within the next couple of months. If it doesn't, then he will need surgery to fix it, but thankfully from what I've read that surgery is very very minor.

On other fronts Bug got to meet Santa for the first time this week.

The city we live in right now has a float that comes around and stops in different neighborhoods every night. On Tuesday they stopped about a block away from our house, so my husband and I dressed the boy up and carried him over to meet Santa. He was very entertained by the lights on the float, and he did very well for his first photo. By the second photo, when we hopped in, he realized someone new was holding him, so you can see him turning to look, and then by the third picture, he was staring up at him waving his arms and smiling. Sadly the camera was too far away to catch said smile.

So, Bug likes Santa. Can't wait till he meets the Easter bunny ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Progress...

When I first started taking Bug to his occupational therapy appointments, his therapist asked what our goal for him was. I remember blinking at her in surprise - goal? Weren't they the ones who were supposed to be setting the goals for him?

"Um, how about getting to the point where we don't have to put as much rice cereal in his formula?" At the time baby boy had some pretty severe constipation due to the rice cereal. We're talking having to give him lactulose and a suppository twice a day because he had developed an umbilical hernia and was developing an inguinal hernia from straining bad. If we could lower the amount we added to his bottles, maybe it would help. Also, letting him decide when he was hungry instead of feeding him every three hours would be nice too.

I didn't think it would ever happen, but Bug has gained so much weight that we're allowed to feed him when he wants - within reason of course. For the most part he's still sticking to a bottle every three hours, but there's been times when he's gone four hours in between bottles.

Then, about a month ago, his occupational therapist decided that we could start feeding him with him sitting upright or cradled in our arms instead of with him on his side. Bug loved it. He really enjoyed looking up at us, looking around at the room, at the TV, the cats. He even started trying to hold his bottle more.

At his last OT appointment, his therapist decided that he was doing so well that she wanted to see how he would handle less rice cereal in his formula. Instead of adding two teaspoons per ounce to his bottle, she added one and a half. He actually handled it very well - so well that she told us we could give him one ounce of formula with one and a half twice a day. This week we're up to one ounce with one and a half teaspoons four times a day, and if he continues doing well, we'll graduate to eight* times a day next week.

In addition to that, his cat scan for his lungs came back normal. There is some evidence of chronic lung disease, so we have to continue with his breathing treatments - but his lungs are no longer enlarged, and his tachypnea has disappeared. Pulmonary wants to keep him on the apnea monitor for now, but they're letting us take it off during the day time now.

Baby boy had developed an umblical hernia shortly after his last hospital stay. The doctors all told us that it should resolve itself eventually, however our pediatrician advised us to tape a coin over his belly button to help things along. It seemed a bit strange (and really old school) but to our complete surprise, it worked! His belly button is back to normal now! However, we still have to go in for an ultrasound to make sure he doesn't have an inguinal hernia this week. I have a feeling that he doesn't have an inquinal hernia at all, as his pediatrician said one of his testes hadn't descended yet, but better safe than sorry.

Bug is also starting to sit up and even stands if we support him. We're thinking of getting him a floor seat for Christmas, and a friend has a jumper she's going to give us.

However, he still hasn't rolled over on his own yet. We probably need to do more tummy time instead of chest to chest time, but it's hard since he's really not a big fan of tummy time. He'll do okay for a few minutes, but eventually he starts getting tired, or frustrated, and crying. Considering how much he likes sitting and standing, but hates tummy time, I have a sneaking suspicion he may skip crawling. According to his occupational therapist, a lot of preemie babies do that, so we'll see what happens!