The Last Days of Summer

The month since Nate was born has gone by quickly. Along with the usual demands of taking care of a new baby, and Ben’s therapy sessions, the big boys have been home all summer. Even though this year we didn’t really do anything interesting or really fun, we still enjoyed each others’ company. And since I normally work full time, this summer was especially wonderful for me. I rarely have the opportunity to spend this much time with Mark and the kids.

In the last couple of weeks we have had some doctor and dentist visits:

Isaac and Jonny both had their regular dental checkups. We are ever so pleased to report that NEITHER ONE HAD ANY CAVITIES!!! That is especially a relief since Jonny has had FOUR cavities repaired in the last 6 months or so. We were so thrilled!

Then they both had their regular checkups at the pediatrician. They are both growing well and perfectly healthy. Jonny didn’t do too well with his vision screen at the pediatrician’s office. We had his vision checked yesterday at the optometrist and he doesn’t need glasses. Isaac needed a booster on his varicella vaccine, and poor Jonny got FOUR shots in preparation for entering kindergarten. They were both very sad to get shots, but they were troopers. I felt so sorry for them that we got them lots of Pokemon video games as rewards…but that’s another story.

Nate had his one month checkup. He is now gaining weight nicely, and was up to just shy of 10 lbs. He is healthy, and his only issue is a bad case of neonatal acne.

Ben had an audiology checkup to see if his hearing aids are at the right setting. They tried checking his hearing by using his behavioral responses to sound, but that wasn’t too helpful at the lower decibel levels. We therefore have to arrange an ABR under sedation to get a better idea of what he can actually hear. He hasn’t had an ABR since his first year of life, so I’m curious to see if his hearing has improved as he has grown, since this is something that can happen with kids with CdLS.

We also made him an appointment to see the pediatrician to talk about his feeds and some other issues. Ben seems to have gone through a growth spurt this summer! He is now almost 19 lbs, and we know he has grown an inch or two in height. So his tube feeds are going well, but we had been having some awful constipation problems. We are changing his formula to include some fiber, continuing his prune juice, and increasing his water intake, and already we are seeing an improvement.

This weekend we went to the open house for Isaac and Jonny’s school, except that it wasn’t. A teacher hasn’t yet been hired for Isaac’s 2nd grade class, and much to my disappointment, the classroom was locked so we couldn’t even see it. So we headed to the library instead. Ben had a great time getting out of the house – we haven’t been on too many outings this summer. That’s how boring we have been lately.

I am sad that summer is ending and the big kids will be back to school next week. I will miss them.

I do hope that next summer we can do some more interesting things than we did this year!

Special Exposure Wednesday: My Four Boys

Ben’s First (Official) Haircut

Ben has the thickest, curliest hair out of all of our kids, which is a common trait for a little guy who has CdLS. Whereas Jonny and Isaac were well over 2 years old before they needed any kind of haircut (and I suspect Nate will be the same), it didn’t take long for Ben to need a trim.

Until now I have managed to cut Ben’s hair myself. Recently, however, he has become much too strong and moves far too much for me to safely use scissors to cut his hair. So Mark called up the hairdresser who normally does his and the big boys’ hair, and we made Ben an appointment. Remembering the hysterical screaming from Jonny’s first haircut there a few years ago, we told her to make it for a time that the shop wouldn’t be too busy.

So last Friday we took him in. He did surprisingly well! In the photo below he is being silly and floppy, not realizing what was in store for him:

At first he was understandably mad…

…but then he settled down and actually seemed to enjoy it. Or maybe he resigned himself to his fate.

He looks SO much neater and more comfortable now.

We are going to try to have him go regularly so that he gets used to the process. Wish us luck!

Special Exposure Wednesday: A Special Gift

Here is a photo of Ben during his physical therapy session this morning wearing a traditional jinbei that was a kind gift from our friend Miss Behaving all the way from Japan! He loves the outfit (so do we!), and we think he looks very sharp. Thank you, Miss Behaving!

Special Exposure Wednesday: Then and Now

Ben, May 2006, NICU

Ben, August 2008

Nate’s Weight Update

Yesterday we took Nate back to the pediatrician’s to be weighed.  He did great over the weekend, and is nursing like a champ.  He gained almost 8 oz in 3 days!  He’s still not quite up to his birthweight, so we take him back in next week for one more weight check.

In other news, our family service coordinator for early intervention services called us already about setting up a meeting this fall to facilitate Ben’s transition into preschool next spring!  I find it hard to think of our little Ben having to go to school already.   I hope school is a positive experience for Ben, but I must admit I’m a little worried.

Nate’s One Week Checkup

On Tuesday we took Nate to the pediatrician for his first ever checkup. We took the other 3 boys along just for the fun of it. Of course we took along our trusty Gameboys for our older two.

Ben was quite content in his stroller. I think he was glad not to be the one being poked and prodded for a change!

Nate is doing well. He had lost some weight (normal for a newborn), and was mildly jaundiced, but otherwise his doctor had no concerns.

After the doctor visit, we went to Target and then had lunch at Fudrucker’s.

I think I overdid it that day because since then I’ve been too sore to do much of anything.

We took Nate back in to the doc yesterday to be weighed again, and unfortunately he gained only 1/2 ounce when he is supposed to gain about an ounce a day. So we are being more diligent with Nate’s feeds (he has a tendency to fall asleep 5 minutes into feeding sessions), and supplementing him with (a little) formula, and he’ll be back in for a weight check on Monday. I hope he starts gaining soon!