Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Choo Choo, Blue, and Three

Charlie is such a boy! How is it that boys know just what it is to be a boy?? I just dont understand it! I dont think we have pushed him in any way or another, but he is ALL boy!

Among his new favorites is any kind of vehicle - - cars and trucks passing by the house, planes flying overhead, the train we can occasionally hear from our house. Most things with wheels are referred to as "car" and they all seem to make a "choo choo" sound according to him. Regardless of his confusion about their names and sounds, he lives for pointing them out whenever he sees or hears any of them!

Another misunderstood favorite of Charlie's is the color blue. We have been pointing out the colors of things for awhile now, but he has taken a liking to the word "blue" and uses it to categorize just about everything that he does not have a word for. No rose colored glasses for this kid! Though he is happy enough to see things as blue.

Charlie runs and climbs and leaps like he is part jungle monkey and it is a small wonder he hasnt suffered anything more than the occasional bump and bruise. His latest trick is "counting" before he sends himself hurtling towards his next unsuspecting victim. However, he avoids the number one like the plague and wont say it for anything. So, it goes something like this: Charlie gets his target in sight (ie: a stuffed animal, the arm of the couch, a pile of pillows, an unsupsecting mommy), he starts to gear up for the attack positioning himself and gaining the proper balance, then he counts ("three, two, THREE!") and he hurtles forward, throwing himself onto his victim while laughing hysterically. It really is quite funny, but I am a little afraid he is going to end up hurting himself or some one on the receiving end. Really though, how are you supposed to stop him from doing it?? Maybe I am just not a good disciplinarian, but I dont see how!

We went for our 18 month check up at the pediatrician's last week and he was great! No crying at all, except for during his shots, but thats to be expected. He is now 24 lbs 1 oz (up only 13 oz since May) which is the 25th percentile for weight and 32 3/4 inches which is the 75th percentile for height. He is long and lean! The pediatrician attributed his slower weight gain to the fact that he is fairly active!

Over the past year or more, I have asked multiple people in our pediatrician's office about having Charlie's hearing tested. Not that I think there is a problem - - he shows no indications of hearing loss and speech-wise is developing fine - - but there is a connection between CDH and hearing loss. Whenever I have asked about it, whomever I have been talking to has put my fears at ease and told me we would know if there was a problem. But its always been in the back of my head and I know other CDH babies get hearing tests regularly. A couple months ago, we received a newsletter from a CDH genetic study we are taking part in and they had an article on hearing loss and explained it a little more. SO.... I asked our ped (the one in the office whom I have come to like the most) and she said of course we could check it and there was no harm in doing so. So, they ran the test and he passed, just as I expected, but it is good to have that affirmation!

The only things we need to work on are (1) continuing to try to transition to sippy cups (He wont take them with milk, but he will drink juice and water from them.) and (2) his tip toe walking (His tendons are starting to get a little tight from him being on his toes too much). When he first started walking, it was only on his toes, but then after a few weeks he went to flat feet. Then a couple months ago he started walking on his toes again - - not all the time, but often enough to be noticeable. So, now we have to be a little more cognizant of it and remind him "flat feet!" when we catch him. He's a sneaky boy though - - if he knows there is something we dont want him to do, he will want to do it all the more!

Nothing else of great concern at our check up. They did increase his zantac dosage to correspond better with his weight as per Dr Ratner's request. He is now at 3mls and will probably stay there for the next 6 months before we start weaning him again. And by weaning, we just wont increase the dosage as he grows. Hopefully by then he will be reflux free!

We celebrated our friends' son, Noah's, first birthday earlier this month. Charlie's gift to Noah: lessons on how to appropriately eat a birthday cake.

"First you start with a little taste on the finger tips..."

"Then, Noah, I prefer the grab and smoosh method..."

"How am I doing guys?"

"Do I have something on my face?"

Last weekend we spent some time in Buffalo for a family party. We extended our trip with a visit to the Buffalo zoo. This was my view most of the afternoon (not that I am complaining! Its a great view to have!):


Polar Bears


My good friend, Addie, and I finally got together after far too long! She brought her two boys over and we had a great little play date with the four boys together! Four boys make A LOT of noise, but Addie and I were still able to catch up!

This took some effort!
L-R: Nolan (18mts), Charlie (18mts),
Max (2 yrs), Emanuel (almost 4yrs)

Charlie asleep during lunch once again!
Seems to happen more often than not lately! :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where does the time go???

Charlie is 18 months old today! A year and a half! Only 6 more months until he is 2! Time does fly! It seems hard to believe!

We just had a checkup this morning with Charlie's surgeon, Dr Ratner, as well as a chest xray. He did great! He sat still for the xrays and didnt need any do-overs. Everything looked great! The patch and his diaphragm are holding up fine and his lungs look equal. This does not necessarily mean that they work equally, but they both sound good and he could continue developing lung tissue for up until he's is 2. He didnt cry at all for any part of the exam! He had gotten to the point of screaming as soon as we put him on the scale to be weighed, but he was calm, cool, and collected today. He did give some pretty serious glares just to assure everyone that he was still in charge, but I will take that over screaming any day! Hopefully that will continue next week when we see the pediatrician!

We had put a hold on giving Charlie his zantac for the past couple of weeks, just to see how he would do, since we knew this would be topic of conversation today. While we thought that things went well (he only puked a handful of times over the course of 2 1/2 weeks - - and those time were only on 2 different days), Dr Ratner wants him to continue the zantac for at least another 3-6 months before we try tapering off his dosage. He thinks the choking and puking we see sporadically is a sign that the reflux is still an issue and by continuing the zantac we will protect his esophagus from being damaged. We obviously understand this and will continue it as long as Charlie needs it, but we were looking forward to the possibility of being free from daily meds! All in due time though! Charlie does things when he wants to and not a minute sooner!

In nitty gritty Charlie details - - he is talking like crazy! Knows lots of people's names, knows his toys, any kind of vehicle, his food. I am trying to make a list of everything he says so that I can post it - - just for my record keeping more than anything else. And his eating has been improving still. He LOVES fruits - - pretty much any fruit we give him, he will eat now. He likes sandwiches and of course all his crunchy things. He has eaten chicken for us a couple times. Still not too interested in pasta - - which is mind boggling since we would be happy eating pasta every day! His bottles are now about 50/50 soy formula to whole milk. He usually only takes two 8-9 ounce bottles a day and he is still giving us a hard time about switching over to sippy cups from bottles. But, he will drink water from the sippy with no problem - - and, of course, apple juice (which he loves!).

There really is not too much else to report on in terms of Charlie adventures. We are in the midst of another 2 week swimming lesson session. This is a smaller class so he gets a little more attention from the life guards and they all love him. He just stares them down though - never talks! We brought him and Emanuel to a sunflower maze near where we live a couple weeks ago. It was a fun time and they enjoyed running all over. We also made a trip to the zoo and the playground recently - - always a good time! Last weekend we brought Charlie to Thornden Park - a large park in the city right near SU campus. They have an amazing rose garden there and we had had our wedding photos taken in the garden. I also have pictures of myself there as a toddler. Charlie wasnt very good at posing for pictures though. He was far too intent on running as fast as he could up and down the aisles of roses. He did stop to smell a couple though!

Other than that we are just continuing to enjoy our Syracuse summer months and trying to make plans for the coming months. Fall in upstate New York is an amazing time and while we dont wish for the summer to pass by too quickly, we do look forward to the fall! We have more summer fun ahead of us though!

SO much fun at the playground!

Pretty flowers!

It is very challenging to take a pic of two little boys together!

New porch is finally finished!
Our new favorite hang out place.

Our friends Jon and Katrina got married last Friday

Charlie was styling!

The view I saw the most of at Thornden Park last weekend.

Stopping to smell the roses...

"Hey mom! I beat you!"

Adventures in the Amphitheater.