Saturday, January 2, 2010

My son has turned two!

Especially since he still looks just like he did at one, I have such a hard time seeing him as a two year old. He still seems like such a baby to me.

HOWEVER, my "baby" can now eat just about anything you put in front of him (excepting meat, which he chokes on). He regularly eats two bananas and two granola bars and half an apple at breakfast. He even stole the apple I got in my stocking, and tore into it on Christmas morning:

He also has taken to Signing Time, a program designed to teach children American Sign Language vocabulary so that they can better communicate with their parents and caregivers. He now has signs for MILK, MORE, FOOD, SIGNING, APPLE, PLEASE and BABY, and he can say our names, "mas", "banana", "night-night", "good job" and "uh-oh!" I can't stress enough how effective Signing Time has been for our kids (it has been enough that I have actually registered to teach a few classes of it).

So much good news. We even got in to see an endocrinologist at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in SW Portland, and we should be getting his hormone levels back in a week or so. However, a few days ago we went to Doernbecher's via the aerial tram (sky buckets!!!) up the hill to the hospital, and it was much better than trying to park up there. No joke, you park at the waterfront, hop in this thing, and can head up the mountain for cheap (roundtrip is $4):

My monkey-son loved the tram, yelping "Whee!" the whole way across. Then, we waited nearly 2 hours to be seen.

The cardiology group didn't have his records from Oakland, but I very nicely explained that he had a bicuspid aortic valve and a systolic murmur. They were very nice, and very surprised that I knew all of that, and all the nurses and docs fell in love with my rosy-cheeked angel boy. One tech did his EKG, and we were ready to head on out the door to come back again in 6 months for an Echo. "Ummm," the doctor started...

"I know that face," I thought. "I hate this part". Long story short, they're doing that "Well, it doesn't NECESSARILY mean anything, but could you come in for more tests?" stuff. They did not like something in his EKG, didn't tell me what, but he's going in for a heart ultrasound in early January. They'll let us just do it in clinic when we get his endocrinology results, but they're going to sedate him to do it this time (which bodes badly, since that generally means a much, much longer Echo). No idea hen that will be, but I have a feeling we'll be getting to know Doernbecher as well as we know CHoO!

Can't this kid EVER catch a break?

Christmas in Portland

So, given the stresses of the last few years, we decided to try and make the holidays as low key as possible. This, in part, meant having no big family celebrations for Christmas. Instead, my folks came up in early December, and we did a small, low-key gift exchange. My in-laws will be coming up in early January for a weekend as well.

Here's the Christmas picture we all took:

Yes, that IS my brother holding his 45 lb dog and STANDING. Isn't it miraculous? He's lost so much weight (and has a new nurse who is on him about his practice and exercise all the time). Coupled with prayer and luck, he's continued to make progress. He can even walk from his bedroom to his bathroom WITHOUT crutches now! (Any further and he is likely to fall down. He's sprained his ankle twice since we've been in Oregon). Even his new doctors are wowed.

Mentally and emotionally, he's not recovering as well or as fast (still very addled hen it comes to time, his short term memory is shot, and he has break-down fall-into-the-fetal-position-on-the-floor anxiety attacks over things as small as leaving the house, sometimes), but there is some movement toward health and away from the fog of terror and confusion he lives in. Please continue to keep him in your prayers!