Saturday, August 31, 2013

How Is It (almost) September Already???

My little Liam is 13 months old. He is so much fun and has quite the outgoing personality.

Tooth #5 is currently making it's appearance.

He folds his hands for prayers.
Cutest. Thing. Ever! See:

He loves his daddy.
This kid is a climber and likes to get into and onto anything. Thankfully, he hasn't attempted to climb out of his crib yet. *Knock on wood!*

He loves to play peek-a-boo.

Liam has taken his first independent steps this month. He can walk about four steps (from the couch to me) and that's it. Walking is hard work, but he's getting closer to mastering it and I'm sure he'll be running around in no time.

 We switched him from formula to cow's milk (I nurse him, too.) at the beginning of the month and it went fairly well. We had to warm it up for him at first, but now he'll drink it cold. He will suck it down fast from a bottle, but only sip at in in a cup.
How I keep him from crawling around in public bathrooms!
I love everything about him. 

My Emma-Bean is doing really well. Her arthritis is under control, thanks to Enbrel. Starting this week, she will go to a preschool/daycare one day a week while I'm at work. I'm a little bit excited and a lot bit nervous. The school I found seems great, but I've always left her with friends before. Eek! It will be a new experience for everyone... wish us luck!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Keeping It In The Family

"Plbbb to you, Enbrel!"
*Plbbb is how I spell the sound of a raspberry.
We restarted Emma's Enbrel injections last week.

The anticipation of the shot stresses her out more than the actual injection. She puts up resistance to sitting down and holding still, but eventually, she lets me poke her while she waves her magic wand and chants, "It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt." Both last week and this week she informed me, afterwards, that it actually did not hurt. This proves that, not only is she tough as nails, she has sufficient super powers to make a toy wand perform magic.

A couple of weeks ago Emma was having good days and bad days. Some mornings she hobbled to my room after waking. Others, she woke up screaming for me to come carry her because she couldn't straighten her knee at all. Sometimes she just crawled around for the first fifteen minutes of her day. Even on good mornings there was a limp and an inability to put all of her weight on that stiff, swollen knee. Last weekend she had two very good days in a row. Then we started her Enbrel and every morning of the past week has been beautiful. There has been no screaming, no crawling, and very little swelling or stiffness.

One injection. One tiny, little, 0.5mLs of Enbrel and the kid is almost back to normal. I love this stuff. I also really hate the stuff. *Sigh* I guess this is just our life now.

That light blue range on the left is normal. That 12.35 was me.
I haven't been feeling well since the weekend of the JA Conference. I'm having little dizzy moments, am beyond exhausted some days, occasionally have a swollen feeling in my throat, and experience shortness of breath and a tightness in my chest at random times. I went to my doctor and had some blood work done. The results showed a very elevated TSH level. (That's Thyroid stimulating hormone - it comes from my brain and tells my thyroid to produce hormones.) That means my brain was essentially shouting at my thyroid to make more of it's hormone, called T4. Two days later my doctor ordered more tests. This time my TSH was at the high end of normal and my T4 was at the low end of normal. Well! That was a quick bounce in hormone levels! The really not so super thing is that I have tons of antibodies against my thyroid.

Antibodies are what our immune systems make to recognize foreign bad guys in our bodies, like bacteria or viruses, so that our good, fighting cells knows what to attack. My body has made lots of antibodies against something in my thyroid that is needed to make thyroid hormone. This means my own immune system is attacking my thyroid and preventing the proper production of T4. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm saying my problem is AUTOIMMUNE. Emma's arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It's like we're related or something.

My doctor thinks I have acute Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid that results in hypothyroidism. He referred me to an endocrinologist, who I get to meet tomorrow. I'm hoping this specialist answers all my questions, digs a little deeper with me, and helps me get everything figured out so I can go back to feeling normal. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

I want to say a super huge THANK YOU to my friends and my amazing Mommy who have given me extra love and support the past couple of weeks. Having a little kid with a chronic illness who I have to stab on a weekly basis is emotionally difficult. Feeling like crap physically on top of said emotional strain gets to be really draining. I'm glad I'm surrounded by caring people.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Big ONE!


(Photo by Emma)
It's hard to believe that an entire year has gone by as a mother of two. My children are my world. I am so lucky to be able to spend almost every day with them, raising them, teaching them, and learning from them. Liam's presence in our family is a tangible blessing. He elicits smiles from everyone he meets. He is his sister's number one fan and daily playmate. He is my light and my joy. He is his father's bouncing boy.

Here is a snapshot of life with Liam at one year old:
  • He crawls faster than a speeding bullet. 
  • He cruises along the couch almost as quickly. 
  • He loves opening and closing containers, pulling items out of boxes/buckets and replacing them, and chewing on anything and everything. 
  • His third tooth just broke through the gums two days ago.
  • He typically wakes up three times a night. (It's crazy. I know.)
  • He takes two lovely naps each day. 
  • He wears size 3 diapers. 
  • He loves to wave "Bah-Bah" out doors, regardless of if someone is coming or going. 
  • He says "DaDa!" when he sees his daddy. "Dah" for dog and down. "Ca" for cat. He whines and cries for me. Figures. 
  • He recently started shaking his head and saying "Uh-uh." Sometimes he really means to nod his head and say "Uh-huh!" but he hasn't figured out the difference between the two.
  • He loves to eat. His food, your food, my food. He even shows interest in the cat's food, but I try not to encourage that sort of behavior. 
  • When I talk on the phone, his face lights up and he gets very excited. 
  • He loves clapping. 
  • His favorite song is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. 
  • He is obsessed with fans and electrical cords. I wish he had a safer obsession. 
  • He says, "Bah" for book, but doesn't sit still long enough for me to read more than a few pages to him at a time.
  • He loves to hug his stuffed puppy (from Emma) and pet it's ear when I put him in his crib.
  • I bet he weighs 22 pounds, but I'll know for sure at his doctor's appointment this afternoon. 
Basically, we love him to pieces, our lives wouldn't be complete without him, and it has been amazing to watch him grow from a new baby into a sweet, little boy this past year.
Birthday kiss attack!!!
"Are you eating without me??!"

August 1, 2012

August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!!!