Sunday, January 30, 2011

The weekend

After a busy weekend of basketball and a birthday party last weekend, it's been nice to sit around, let the laundry pile up, and play. Poor Nicholas was fighting a bug all week and missed 4.5 days of school, but luckily Blake and Alexis were able to avoid it.

Alexis's favorite new thing to do is crawling around on the couch. She loves to stand herself up on it, bounce on it, crawl on it. Our downstairs sectional however, does cause a bit of static. As evidenced by this:


Nicholas has been healthy all weekend thank goodness. So the boys were busy with attending Monster Jam events with the boy scouts. I'm so sorry that I missed the excitement (can you hear the sarcasm?) but we girls did other exciting things. Like sitting in plastic boxes.

Love this expression:

Jason made some progress this weekend with Alexis keeping her glasses on. She's kept them on several hours today. Don'tcha just love the outfit?

Tonight for dinner we took Blake for his belated birthday dinner at Red Robin. We love that place. The food is great (unlimited drinks AND steak fries!) and the staff is incredible. Even Alexis likes the food.

Blake got his free kids meal and they brought out sundaes for BOTH the boys and sang to Blake.

Nicholas ate most of his sundae. Blake finished his sundae and what was left of Nick's. That's my kid. Can't believe he's 6!

I don't know this employees name, but every time we have been there, she comes over and makes a huge fuss over Alexis. Jason and I joke about how, when we are out in public with Alexis, it's what we imagine it would feel like hanging with a celebrity. People are always stopping us to see her, talk to her, ask about her. And we love it. Who wouldn't want people being that kind to their kids?

I think it's our new go-to place for birthdays in our family. 2 more weeks until we return!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Alexis saw her new ENT on Wednesday. "Wow," said the doctor. "Yes, those tonsils are...generous."

Before we would resort to something surgical (because removing tonsils on a child as young as Alexis is not fun) we are trying a couple of other things.

First, because she has reflux (as evidenced by the constant smell of sour milk in my carpet and a large quantity of stain remover in my laundry room) the doctor prescribed a medication to help prevent the reflux. The acid from reflux can cause tonsils to become enlarged. We return to the ENT in 2 months to see if the new medication has helped.
The next possible step will be a sleep study. I can't imagine doing a sleep study on a child so young, but apparently it can be done. If her tonsils are still large when we return to the ENT, he wants to be assured that the tonsils aren't causing bigger problems like sleep apnea.

And now on to more fun topics: Blake's 6th birthday party.

For two years in a row, Blake has had a pirate-themed party. This year I was ecstatic when he agreed to my suggestion: a Lego theme! And I don't know who had more fun with it: Blake or me. Who doesn't love Legos (except to step on)? I can't wait until April when we get a Lego store in Castleton! And incidentally, Legos make great packaging material. When I was 5 years old and we were traveling home from spending a year in England, Mom and Dad packed up all our stuff and then crammed Legos in every spare suitcase and trunk corner they could find. (What's not fun is when you get stopped by customs because, well, apparently we're shady. And they open your overflowing trunk and Legos scatter to all corners of the terminal.) But I digress. Back to the party.

I downloaded a Lego font to make Happy Birthday signs, cup labels, and bookmark favors.

I put Pop Pop to work building a stage to display all the Lego characters Blake and Nick have accumulated.

It's amazing the ideas that can be found on-line. I made candy Lego heads by putting marshmallows on a skewer and dipping them in vanilla candy. The kids then used edible markers to make faces on them. Unfortunately, the markers didn't work very well, but the kids still loved doing it.

I had to order the Lego plates and napkins on line, but I made something to put the forks in, out of--you guessed it--Legos.

Another thing I found on-line was candy that looked like Legos. They tasted like Sweetarts and could even be stacked like Legos. The kids loved them (as did several of the adults) and I added a baggie of the candy in each of the gift bags.

The Lego website sold Lego man ice cube trays. I used the trays to make candy molds and put the little chocolate men on cupcakes...

...and then displayed the cupcakes on a Lego table.

And Blake's favorite part (the typical 6 year old): opening gifts.

Lots of Legos.

Thousands of tiny little pieces of Lego.

So excited about all the Legos!

Everyone was so generous...more generous than tonsils.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Obstacles. And my new favorite snack.

Our obstacles are minimal. We are lucky. Alexis had her fair share when she was first born: surgery at 2 days old for duodenal atresia, a 67-day hospital stay, and open heart surgery at 5 months old. And because of those events, everything else seems pretty minor. Her vision deficit can be corrected with glasses and the biggest obstacle there is simply keeping the glasses on. Her hypothyroid is managed with a single pill a day with no noted side effects so far. We realize we are blessed.

Alexis's biggest obstacle right now is feeding and putting on weight. And it's not that she isn't eating at all. She has no problems drinking from a bottle and eating baby food--even textured baby food (although she has choked on the occasional chunk of carrot. But so do I. Vegetables. Ugh.) It's also promising that she does like to try to use the spoon herself.

But developmentally, she should be transitioned, or at least transitioning, to sippy cups and table food. (We have found one single table food that she will eat if it is crushed up very fine: Cheetos.) It doesn't help that I'm not as consistent as I should be with the sippy cup. But the other problem is that she isn't putting on enough weight, and if I use the sippy cup and not the bottle, it results in significantly less calories that she will ingest. We've added Carnation Instant Breakfast to her milk (it seemed a bit healthier than adding butter) for the extra calories. And I need to look into some other recommendations from the doctor. Alexis had her 21 month check up this week and she is holding steady at 19 lbs, 8 oz. I had thought at a previous appointment she had finally hit the 20 lb. mark, but it was a different scale, with the diaper on. So no. She's still a teen. Thank goodness she looks healthy and in proportion and perfect to us.
But we may have found the culprit for the inability to swallow table foods. The next picture was taken several weeks ago, and about a week after being diagnosed with a double ear infection:

You can imagine my reaction when I zoomed in really close.

Her tonsils are enormous! The poor girl looks like she has tumors in her throat. They don't usually look quite this bad, but they are still huge. We have an appointment with an ENT on Wednesday.

In every other area, she is doing great. She crawls at lightening speed (if she'd slow down, maybe she wouldn't burn so many calories!) She pulls herself up to standing and nothing is safe. I had finally trained the boys to keep their Legos off the floor. But now that Alexis can reach things that are left on the tables, no little Lego pirate man is safe from her grasp. Luckily, she doesn't really put anything in her mouth--that's the bright side to our feeding issues.

Alexis may not say much verbally (it's still just "hi", "bye", "dada", and "brother") but she is signing up a storm. Sometimes we can't even keep up. And it can be a bit confusing since "more" looks like "shoe" and "milk" looks like "no". And sometimes we just look at her trying to tell us something and ask, "anyone remember what means?" and we'll finally realize she's telling us she wants down, or that she needs her diaper changed. Yes, she will occasionally tell us "diaper". My boys never told me that at 21 months. I think she's brilliant.

I'll be curious to hear what the ENT has to say on Wednesday. For now, I'm off to crush some Cheetos. (For me, not her. They should make Cheetos in pixie stix form for the salt lover.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Christmas was wonderful. We saw lots of family, visited friends, and everyone was happy and healthy. We are so blessed.

One of Alexis's gifts was a stroller. Someday soon she will be able to push her babies around in it. Right now, we can stand her behind it and help her make some tiny steps. She has made the occasional steps on her own, but we need to weight down the stroller because it will roll out ahead of her and we want to avoid a face plant on that cute little face of hers.

But in the meantime she has been able to pull herself up to dining room chairs and push them around the kitchen very slowly. They're a bit heavier and have a bit more resistance and don't seem to get away from her so quick.

One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was from Nicholas. At school they made a calendar and decorated each month with a picture they drew.

October is a big month for Nicholas. It's his birthday. He could have drawn a picture of his party or his gifts. And with Halloween that month, he could have chosen to draw a picture of his costume. But instead of those, he chose to draw something else.

He drew a picture of the Buddy Walk. I love that of all the things he loves about October, he drew us at the Buddy Walk. He insists that he drew us in our red Lexi Lou Who shirts.
Poor color blind kid. Sadly, my color blind father would probably side with him.
On a side note, I think we have finally conviced them both that our green minivan is not purple.