Thursday, May 29, 2008

15 Month Appointment

The boys had their 15 month well baby check last week. Overall, they are doing great with just a few concerns. Developmentally, they are also right on track. I was really worried about their speech. I had heard recently that a 15 month old should have 10-15 "meaningful" words; say "mama" and "dada" specifically to mom and dad; "uh-oh" and "oh-no" should also be part of their vocabulary. When I told our doctor of our concerns, he said they are right on track and not to worry about it. Noah says "mama" and "dada" but not specifically (and we were told that's all he should be able to do...say it). Ethan rarely says it and Nathanial almost never. They all shake their heads "no" and "yes" and will put their hands on their head for "Oh, No!" or "Oh, my aching head." So they do mimic that. They also all point and make fantastic eye contact. These are important milestones for us as they can be early indicators of autism.

Nathanial's stats were as follows:
Height: 30 3/4"
Weight: 21 pounds
Head: 18"

Ethan's stats:
Height: 30 1/2"
Weight: 21 pounds
Head: 18"

Noah's stats:
Height: 30 1/4"
Weight: 21 pounds
Head: 18 1/4"

They all weighed exactly 21 pounds and their lengths were within 1/4 with Nathanial being tallest and Noah being shortest...not a big shock. Even though Noah's head looks so much bigger than Ethan and Nathanial's, it's only 1/4" bigger and does put him in a slightly higher percentage, but he is still on the little side (I think 20th %tile).

Now for the concerns. Nathanial doesn't respond to his name at all, doesn't flinch hugely at loud noises, doesn't turn when I enter his bedroom if his back is to me, and is extremely quiet. While I think some of the quietness is just his little personality, he doesn't "say" much at all. Ethan will generally respond to his name, but also appears to "ignore" us quite often and also doesn't say much at all. Noah is very chattery and seems to respond to his name and do pretty well with everything. I mentioned their lack of speech and my concerns that Nathanial wasn't hearing. They all passed their newborn screening, with Noah actually having the worst one. She did his several times over until she finally got something. Our next step was to check their ears to see if Dr. B could see anything wrong. If not, we would take a wait and see approach. He did the tampanogram (?) (Aidan's had it done several times) and nobody produced a spike. Not a single one of them, they all had flat lines. We were originally just going to check Nathanial and Ethan, but then decided to do them all, just to see. I was most surprised at Noah because he seems to hear pretty well. And he may be fine after all. We are now getting all three in to have their hearing checked next week and will go from there with whatever those results show. To fix it, most likely, they will only need tubes and that's not a big deal, so I feel OK with that. I'm just relieved to know there is fluid build up behind the drums because I was really worried something more was wrong with Nathanial. Steve has tried clapping his hands loudly right behind their heads to see if they react....they don't. Nathanial will sometimes turn around and smile, but never jumps, flinches, nothing. Ethan will sometimes flinch a little bit but doesn't jump or anything else and will also turn and smile. Noah will turn and respond with a smile also. So I guess we'll see what happens next week.

Our other concern was Nathanial's leg. When he was probably 6 weeks old, he developed a "birthmark" behind his left knee. That "birthmark" started cycling through a little system. It starts out looking like a birthmark, then gets a blister on it, then it pops, heals, then starts all over with the birthmark stage lasting at maximum a week. I mentioned it at his 2 month appointment and we started using hydrocordisone (sp?) and Aquaphillic on it three times a day. We have kept an eye on it and continued to do this for the last 13 months, with no change at all in the cycling or appearance. It does itch terribly, I have realized since Nathanial has been in shorts. And now there is another spot about 1-2 inches above the first spot that looks exactly the same and is doing the same thing. It is now time for him to see a dermatologist to figure out what it is.

Nathanial is definitely allergic to strawberries, so we are assuming Ethan is also. Noah will not get them until he is at least three and maybe not even then. Not sure I want to have them in the house ever again.

They recieved catch up Pediarix and Prevnar shots and will not recieve the MMR until after the new baby is born, due to the risk to the baby.

All in all, a great appointment!

Nathanial's update:

We went to the dermatologist today. Nathanial's spots are more than likely (90% sure) mastocytoma. Which is essentially a mass of cells on the skin, which blister and burst and when they burst they produce histamine which causes them to itch (hence all the scratching). He said he was ruling out eczema because it wasn't rough and patching and ruling out herpes simplex (what?!?!?!) because it is only one small bump and not several littler ones. The only way to know for absolute sure if this is what it is is to do a biopsy and, thankfully, he doesn't want to do that on someone so little. We are going to start with a super potent hydrocordisone cream once a day that will hopefully stop the cycling and eventually, he will outgrow it (as an adolescent or adult). If this doesn't work, then he may do the biopsy. We also may follow up with an allergist to check on all possible allergies Nathanial has because that "might" be contributing to the cycling. We're not thinking about any of that at this point, though...we're just hoping this cream does the trick to stop the cycling!

Next stop.....hearing checks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Baby Is.........

Beautiful and healthy! Everything looked fantastic with little Baby Calonder #6 tonight. Everything with the heart, spine, kidneys, everything was perfectly formed. Ten little fingers and ten little toes. Yawned twice and sucked on the same two fingers Noah fancies. Uh-oh. So....I guess the question it a he or a she?? Do you really want to know??? Are you sure???? Maybe we couldn't tell!?!

The baby is a...............


You read that correctly....after five boys, looks like we are having a little lady, a beautiful little girl, a healthy, miracle little girl join us!!!! I think I am still in shock, personally. We told Austin by giving him a flower onesie. He didn't get it at first, then smiled big and said "It's a girl?" He looked pretty happy about it, actually. He was half-asleep though. Aidan didn't want to wake up and find out. He's right anyway....he's known all along this baby is a she. As he put it, God wouldn't give us another boy. I guess not.

We are so happy little Miss Calonder is happy and healthy in there. Now our prayers are that she stays put for the next few months, but we can't wait to meet her when it's time! She does have a name, but we are keeping that secret. And actually, now it is between three names. We have thought of a few more that we really like. I guess you'll have to stick around until September to find out her name!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Noah's Walking!!!!!

Finally!! Noah is walking! He will take about eight steps, giggling the whole way, then fall down. He gets very nervous during and after his eight little steps and just sits and crawls. He is exactly on target with when Aidan started walking. It is amazing to me how similar those two are in almost everything. Noah even walked outside in the grass today!

I'm just so excited for him...and, yes, for me! It's getting to be a little more difficult to find balance all by myself, none the less when carrying one or more children. Nathanial is getting more and more clingy and will no longer walk downstairs by himself. Noah has never wanted to walk down by himself. Ethan, thankfully, is still pretty independant and just wants snuggle times throughout the day. I wonder if Nathanial knows somehow that there is another little person who will be joining his family soon and he's staking his claim now??? Hmm...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Pictures

I added a ton of new pictures to the dropshots page ( I didn't have enough room or time to add them here...sorry!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Brother's Love

It isn't often that we are able to capture moment between Austin and the triplets. He likes to mostly be alone and when he does spend time with a brother, it is usually Aidan. We went to the park and Ethan started following Austin around. He would chase after him. Austin noticed and started playing with Ethan. I think Austin was really touched that Ethan looked up to him as much as he did.

Ready to go on the slide?
I'll get you up there...
Here...need a little help over that bump?
Bottom of the slide (contrary to the face, Ethan was giggling and loved it!).
On the the bouncy thingy...

Monday, May 12, 2008

ER on Mother's Day

What a wonderful week we are having! First jury duty and now this! Today was supposed to be relaxing. I was planning on taking a nap as soon as the babies were down after lunch.

We got home from church and I was cutting strawberries, while Steve made lunch. Nathanial somehow got a hold of one of the little core pieces, put it in his mouth, and then spit it out and handed it to me.

Not five minutes later, his face got a few little splotches on it. I hadn't really thought of the strawberry and thought he was getting a rash with his cold. Then it started to spread and spread and spread...quickly. I wolfed down my lunch and rushed him to the ER. By the time we got there, the little "rash" had turned into a welt and spread all along one side of his face. While we sat there, it moved to the back of his neck, the other side of his face, and his ear. I was trying to figure out what had happened and honestly did not remember the strawberry at all at that point. Thankfully, the doctor knew immediately that it was an allergic reaction to something and gave him a huge dose of prednisone and benedryl. Poor little guy gagged on the prednisone and the benedryl wasn't a whole lot better.

He now has to take Benedryl for the rest of today (plus yesterday) and Prednisone for the next four days. Within minutes of getting that into him, though, he was fine and his rash disappeared. By the time we got home, you couldn't even tell anything had been wrong with him to start with - other than the left over scratch marks!

Two things could have caused this, as Steve and I later recalled. The strawberry, which is what we really think it is. Or he was held by two different people at church (who are married) and it could have been their laundry detergent. But with how fast it happened after the strawberry incident, we are thinking that was it. I am so mad at myself for being so careless as I was cutting them. I have been really diligent and said that they could not have any berries until they were three and I haven't given them any. This, however, fell on the floor. And if it was that and his first reaction to it was this bad, then we have to be extra careful. We have warned Austin and Aidan to be positive they never get anywhere near all three of the babies with anything remotely resembling strawberries from here on out, but especially Nathanial and Ethan. I will never be giving them that again!

I hope that all mother's had a fantastic, and uneventful, Mother's Day yesterday!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jury Duty

Lucky me. I got called for jury duty at the worst possible time. I have always wanted to be on jury duty...don't get me wrong. I just really didn't want it right now, with four little people at home all day and being pregnant. Ugh!

In our county, we are on for two months. I got May through the end of June. I got the first call last week. Half of the panel had to report and I was in that lucky half. Forty people and they were doing a magistrate trial, which needed 6 jurors. Well, looked like I was going to get pretty lucky. Not so. I was one of fourteen called, however, the trial involved our town's police chief. So I was a little smug thinking there was no way they were going to allow people from our small town to sit on that jury. I was wrong...I was picked along with one other person from our town. I did feel that I could be open in the situation. The stuff you hear in the media never really accurately describes anything and you never get the whole story. I felt that if I received the entire story, I could be fair and unbiased. And I was correct. I listened to everything and felt that the verdict we finally reached was very fair...and extremely unanimous. Five of us knew our verdict in the first ten minutes of deliberations and the sixth one knew in less than forty-five minutes.

The case involved three local juveniles jumping from a park bridge into a creek. They had been warned on three separate occasions to not be there; once by the police chief and once by another officer. The third time is when an alleged assault on one of the boys took place. The chief approached them and told them to get off. They all did, but the third boy went back on and got belligerent with the chief and said he wasn't leaving. When the chief saw no other options, he arm-barred the boy to remove him from the situation and leave. In the process, because he was arm barred against the bridge, there was left a small (1.5") burn. It was very small (unlike what the public saw on the news, we saw an actual ruler held against the injury) and it was caused by the young man refusing to leave the scene and hanging on to the bridge. So when the chief arm barred him and pulled him away, it left a little scratch. The boy and the prosecution wanted us to believe it was assault, saying the chief was angry and had "drug him along the length of the bridge." None of us felt that the injury resulting was from dragging along the bridge. It was a burn, not a cut. There were no splinters and it was a surface injury. And it was an inch and a half long. Seriously. It was easy to find the chief not guilty after looking at all the circumstances and evidence. The prosecutor kept telling us to "use our common sense." Well, that's exactly what we did.

I did not expect to be on a trial, my very first trial and jury experience, so heavily covered by the media. That was a little unnerving. When I delivered the verdict, I had a really hard time getting through it because as soon as I said "not guilty," the chief's wife started sobbing. In my hormonal state, that wasn't cool. I was not the only one with tears, though. Surprisingly, the entire jury was female and five out of six of us had children....and boys to boot!

I felt bad for Steve...the trial drug on for three days and he had to be home all those days. He went in every night to catch up on stuff at work, but it was just as exhausting for him. I don't think he ever really believed me when I told him just how busy our boys are...until he spent that much time alone with them!

After everything I learned about what occurs in our small town city park, I have decided my decision to not allow Austin to go down there alone has been a fantastic one. And it has also shown me, more clearly than before, that problems are everywhere. Even in small town Iowa.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Time for Sleep!

Every afternoon when I put the babies down for a nap, I come downstairs and listen to them on the monitor for a while. I love listening and they talk back and forth for a good 20 minutes before they fall asleep. Here's just some of it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fine Arts Night

Austin had Fine Arts Night tonight. He didn't tell me until we were on the way that he was going to be getting an award. I was slightly surprised by it. He has been doing "Reading Counts" all year at this school. I do not agree with the program. The entire basis is that you read a book, then take a quiz on the book. Each book is worth so many "points" (based on a Lexile score) and you get prizes based on how many points you rack up. I have no problem with giving tests to see how a child has comprehended the book, but my problem is with getting prizes for reading. I think you should just expect a child to matter what...and they shouldn't be rewarded for it. Austin loves to read. Anyone who knows him, knows that he constantly has a book under his nose. He's forever reading three and four different books at a time. So for him, Reading Counts was a breeze. He's continually brought home little updates throughout the year that list the books he's read, the Lexile Score, date read, percent correct on quiz and how many words there were in each book. It's all been interesting to see what books he's read (especially when a few he's been expressly told he could not read, but whatever) and I didn't think it was too big of a deal. He's kept me up to date on how many points he's racked up and he has gotten pizza slices and other prizes, plus a $5 gift certificate to the book fair (by far, the greatest prize given...I have no problem with that as a prize). I did not, however, put much stock in it. I thought everyone was getting points and I really didn't understand the whole system....obviously. Last night, as they were announcing the "winners" for Reading Counts for the year, they said that 42 students (out of the entire school) had gotten between 100-200 points and everyone cheered. That's when it hit me....this was a HUGE deal. I KNEW Austin had around 600 points. The next level, 250-400 points...silver...had only 8 students in the entire school. Then she got to the "gold" level readers. Austin was one of THREE...count 'em, three!!!...students! Out of the entire school! Him and his best friend and an eight grader received the gold level. Austin happened to have racked up the second most points in the entire school! Mikhael, his best friend, beat him by 3 points. I was so proud of him...and I did apologize to him for not making a bigger deal out of it to him throughout the year. He's got a little certificate, ribbon, and his final report. I am really proud of him...and more than a little upset with myself for not realizing until 2 weeks before school is out how big of a deal this is.

He also sang a few songs last night. They did a great job. With the awards before and band and vocal from all three grades performing, it made for a very late night. We got home at 9:45! We had left at 5:30. Aidan insisted on going and I let him. I had no idea how long it would get. We weren't even halfway through the awards part when he was spinning on the floor. Ugh! He's not going next year!
All in all, it was a great night!

Introducing - "Mr. Ethan"

Ethan came out to me in the kitchen this morning while I was making breakfast, with a tie clipped on his pj's. Austin had gotten some clothes from someone and in the bag was a clip on tie. Aidan went through the bag, found the tie, and put it on Ethan. Then he said that Ethan was "Mr. Ethan" and he was the dad. Nathanial was the mom and Noah and Aidan were the babies. Sometimes Aidan's imagination is hilarious!