July 28, 2008

Another Weekend ... Another Adventure!

Caden Superstar survived another road trip this past weekend! This past weekends adventure was a trip to Caden's first motorcross race. The race was at Washougal which is a five hour drive each way for us.

Saturday we spent the day at Washington Square mall in Portland. No sales tax in Oregon - Yippee! We had a good time and bought several items we probably do not need. For some reason the combination of a sale and no sales tax makes it that much harder to say no. Caden REALLY does not need any more clothes - but I couldn't resist. We had a late lunch - early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory - Yummy! We ordered off the children's menu for Caden - how fun was that?! Of course he had mac n cheese.
(FYI- to the mommies of little one's who read my blog - Children's Place is having an awesome sale. I usually never shop there - the merchandising of the store makes me crazy. But seriously - swim shorts for $2.50?! I only bought a couple of things in Portland. I realized this morning as I was unpacking, I should have bought more - so tonight I got online and ordered for next summer - Again ... Caden really doesn't need anymore clothes ... maybe I need help for this problem!)

Playing video games at the hotel with Dad

Sunday we headed to the track to watch the race. At motorcross races they let you get really close to the action. Close enough you get dirt kicked up on you from the bikes. I wasn't sure how Caden would do ... but Daddy wanted to take him. Caden did awesome and Dan's face couldn't have glowed more. He was so excited Caden liked the motorcycles. It was funny to watch Caden. The bikes would go by so fast, he would blink, turn his head and they would be gone. If you could only see the perplexed look on his face. Amazingly enough he even took a nap through the action. Dan and I were cracking up. I'm still not sure how he slept through it.

Really, Caden did just get his haircut. I think he's gonna have naturally curly hair like mommy!

I don't have anything good to say about the hotel we stayed in. We chose the Residence Inn in Vancouver. It sucked ... the room smelled of stale cigarette smoke, several light bulbs were burned out, the decor clashed, we were unable to order a movie from the in-room guide (it said it was locked - no one could tell us how to fix it), our room was next to the freeway, the shower head was too low ... I will not continue. Let's just say to sum it up they will be getting a comment card from me!

It's nice to be home ... July was a very busy month for us and I'm afraid it's continuing into August. But I will not complain ... January will be here soon enough and we will be stuck in the house because it is too snowy and too cold outside!

Clean again! It's amazing how much dirt flies at the race!

I am excited to pick up my friend Tanya and her two adorable children, Kristian (7) and Lily (5) at the train station Wednesday night! They are coming to visit for a couple of days (they live on the Seattle side). Tanya has been trying to find things to do with the kids over summer vacation to keep them occupied ... a train ride it is! I can't wait to see how this adventure plays out :o)

July 24, 2008

Yeah for the Pool!

As I mentioned in an earlier post ... we bought Caden a swimming pool. I told Dan Caden needed a bigger swimming pool - He had outgrown his teenie - tiny one from last summer. So Daddy went and bought Caden a pool 8 feet in diameter ... okay, a little bigger than I had planned.

Caden and Daddy tried it out twice last week and Caden didn't want much to do with it. The first time I wasn't able to get pictures - he started crying too quickly. Here are a couple pics I got from the other night. Caden did not want to let go of the edge and was pretty whinny!

Our friends, the Larson Family, are here visiting for a couple days. They are on their way back to Seattle from Spokane and detoured to Wenatchee for a pit stop. Kerry & Shelby have five kids, ages 2 to 11! Caden is quite excited that he has so many friends staying with him tonight. Of course the Larson kids wanted to check out our pool and Caden was quite intrigued by 5 kids in his pool. Shelby took Caden to the edge of the pool and Caden decided he wanted to splash his hands and feet. Then he leaned over to try and go in the water ... yeah!!! I quickly grabbed his floaty we bought him and we set him in it - with his diaper and shirt - no time for swim diapers or shorts :o) - He seemed to enjoy it ... I wasn't able to get any smiles out of him (amazing, huh?!) It was so cute to watch him kick his little legs while in his floaty! So, thank you Larson Kids for encouraging Caden to get in the water!!! YEAH!

... and I can't have a post without a couple of cheeseburger pictures!

Have a great weekend!

July 21, 2008

14 Hours in a Car ... with a one year old!

We are back from our road trip to Bend, Oregon. It was a 7 hour drive each way. I was VERY nervous for the trip, but Caden was a champion! On the way there Dan and I were more delirious the last hour of the drive than Caden was. Caden was looking at us with confusion as we were singing silly songs and finding everything funny! Caden had his first Happy Meal on our road trip ... he shared with Mommy. And of course like all little kids he was more into the toy than the food :-)

We went to Bend for a family reunion on Dans Mom's side of the family - family came from Washington, Oregon and California. Caden got to meet a lot of family for the first time - which was fun for all! We shared a condo adjacent to Sunriver with Dan's cousin, Jeremy, his wife Brenda, and their son Cole. Cole is 6 months old and is adorable! Caden was a little fearful of Cole at first. Every time Cole would laugh Caden would cry. Poor thing! We need to toughen Caden up! By the end of the weekend Caden wasn't as fearful ... thank heavens!

I brought the laptop in hopes that Caden would watch a few videos on our drive. His attention span lasted 10 minutes. Darn it! Wishful thinking!

Our Condo was awesome! I found it by searching online - and it was a good find. It had everything we could possibly need. It was clean, which is very important since Caden spends the majority of the time on the floor. The kitchen had every appliance one could imagine - even a popcorn maker! The only thing it was missing was a high chair, but we brought ours! The bedrooms were at opposite ends of the condo which was perfect! We couldn't hear the family we were staying with and they couldn't hear us! Perfect for babies who don't always sleep through the night. Most importantly the condo had wireless Internet. A must for me since I have become addicted to this blog world! I know - pathetic!!! I would recommend the condo for anyone planning a vacation to Sunriver.

Above are Caden and Cole! I often forget that Caden is a "little person" until he is around other babies. Cole is in the 95th percentile for a 6 month old ... so of course to Dan and I he seems HUGE!

Caden's 2nd cousin, Elijah, took a liking to Caden! It was pretty darn cute! Elijah always made sure Caden had a toy to play with. Too bad he lives so far away - I was thinking babysitter!

Here are the "cousins". Several of them were able to make it to the reunion. There are several pictures through the years of this group. It is neat because now the cousins are having kids ...

.. and here they are - the "cousins" kids. I tried really hard to get a good picture of them. Poor Caden looks like he's being choked. It's tough to photograph 6 kids between the ages of 11 and 6 months. I give photographers credit! I told Dan's Mom I want a picture of the "cousins" when they were this age. I think it would be fun to have them framed together.

Dan and his cousin Jeremy, with their kids. (Even though Caden is oblivious to the camera.) Dan and Jeremy spent lots of time together growing up ... often finding mischievous things to get into. Now the boys have boys (Caden & Cole) close to the same age. Hopefully we will get to see Jeremy and his family yearly so Caden & Cole can create those same memories!

Dan with a few of his siblings and cousins.

What's vacation without ice cream? Some little cheeseburger got ice-cream three days in a row! I told him not to get used to it :-)

Caden with Uncle Abe and his cousins Evan & Nolan.

My silly little boy!

Caden was very chatty on the last day of our trip. As you can tell in this picture he is squawking about something! I think he is fully recovered from his adenoids. I haven't given him any pain medicine since Saturday! Yippee!

With the help of input from parent's on the Parent's of Little People Message Board, we were able to modify the bike trailer I bought for Caden before we knew he was an achon. The bike trailers have VERY soft seats and provide no back support! We took out some of the padding from Caden's infant car seat and Dan bungee corded it into the bike trailer. It worked wonderfully! As you can tell in the above picture, Caden seemed a little perplexed the whole bike ride but I think he enjoyed it. He slept half of the ride.

As Dan was loading up the truck to head home Caden was laying in the hallway looking out into the garage squawking. I thought it was cute - I think he was saying he didn't want to go home. Neither did his Mommy or Daddy ... but all good vacations have to come to an end!

Heading back home - 15 minutes into the 7 hour drive! .... but we finally made it. I brought the nebulizer, humidifier, every medication possible and Caden's 4 inch thick medical binder on our vacation. Thank goodness we didn't need any of it!

July 16, 2008

A Little Bit of Cuteness!!!

Caden turns 16 months tomorrow .... I can hardly believe it! I figured that is deserving of a few cute pictures!

His mood was much better today, and he is slowly getting back on an acceptable sleep schedule! Thank Goodness!

July 14, 2008

Who's Schedule are You On?

Caden still isn't back to 100% and boy is he letting it be known!!! We were doing okay until Saturday. He woke at normal time Saturday and had a normal nap. Around 6 he started getting sleepy but I encouraged him to keep going. 7ish is bedtime - so 7 rolled around and he wasn't seeming sleepy anymore. 7:30 rolled around and I thought it was time to start working on going to bed. At 8:30 this is the video I captured ...

Someone DOES NOT appear sleepy to me. After letting him be and then going back in to comfort him from his fussing (sorry Grammy - sometimes you just have to let them cry) ... Finally at 9:30 I captured this picture ... don't you love that achon belly :-)

Caden hasn't slept through the night the last four nights - His naps are all messed up and I'm going crazy! He has been extra sensitive the last few days, I pick him up and he starts whining, I lay him down, he starts crying - it's a no win situation. I am amazed the Mom's that are lucky enough to stay at home with their kid's have their sanity left. I'm still adjusting to full time Mom - hood, and I'm sure as soon as I get in the rhythm summer vacation will be over! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being home with Caden all day but it is an adjustment!

I'm not sure if this sleep schedule change is a result of irritability from his adenoids - or if this is a new schedule he is trying. Whatever the deal is we can't keep it this way! I need my evenings to relax!

We bought Caden a new swimming pool. He had clearly outgrown his one from last summer. I had planned to purchase a little plastic one, but Daddy thought we needed the one 8 feet in diameter so he could go in it with Caden. I had hoped to have pictures to post - but we put Caden in it for the first time tonight and he didn't want anything to do with it. So we will try again in a few days when he is feeling better.

Caden is into dragging objects all over the house ~ here he chose a pair of shorts and his detangler spray. I find it so amazing how a little creature who is unable to walk yet still manages to get toys from one end of the house to the other!

Making his Daddy proud! The only problem is he picked the yellow motorcycle over the orange motorcycle ... sorry Daddy. It is so cute watching Caden play with this motorcycle. He pushes it all over the house.

Can you tell how proud Caden is in this picture? He dumped his clean laundry basket of clothes out. That's what I get for leaving him unattended. Now, can someone teach Caden how to fold the laundry?

What a Cheeseburger!

July 10, 2008

Caden Update

Thank you to everyone who has sent your love to Caden this week!

He is doing quite well considering what he went through Monday & Tuesday. The more I think about it the more angry I get about a few of the things that occurred at Children's Hospital this week: running so far behind for his surgery, giving him too much sleepy medicine, traumatizing him with the bi-pap (even though I know it was for his own good) not answering me quickly enough about if I could feed him, and the nurse almost giving him the wrong medicine at one point (I forgot to include that one in my original post). I know there are several other children at the hospital and my child is not the only child ... but of course I only want the best for him and worry about his safety. They might just be getting a letter from me! I can't believe how many pokes and bruises he has on his little hands and feet - Ridiculous! Okay ... I'll stop now before I get all rowled up again! There were a few good things ... I liked our ENT, the anesthesiologist, and our nurse on Tuesday. I also was very happy the geneticist took time to come talk with me about the MRI on Tuesday before we left.

Okay - back to Caden! He isn't back to 100% but I would say 70%. He is more whinny than usual and is watching more Disney Channel than usual. Usually he isn't much into TV - which is good! He has slept well the last two nights. We had a few visitors yesterday and I think that sent him a little over the edge. So today we are resting and staying home, while not having anyone over to visit.
The REALLY cool thing is Dan and I already notice a difference in his breathing when he sleeps. I'm sure it will only get better as the swelling in there continues to reduce!

We tried painting yesterday. It was short lived, he wasn't feeling up to it and it was too hot outside.

His latest hobbies are taking things in and out and putting things off and on. When he takes things out he chucks them back over his shoulder, it is pretty cute because the chuck is done with such authority! I am also finding it difficult to get him to eat anything except carbs and yogurt. The joys of parenthood :-)

Here he is destroying Mommy's purse. The picture below shows how he "huck's" stuff out of it. In the other picture below he is staring at the postcard he found in my purse. It's of the clowns that sang to him when we were waiting at the hospital Monday. It is pretty priceless watching him stare at that postcard!

July 8, 2008

Caden's Adenoid Adventure!

Preface: I've realized something disturbing is happening ... I'm becoming my mother! When I was in 6th grade I was assigned a teacher with the class bully in it. This girl was awful and would tease me to no end. For some reason I wasn't strong enough to stick up for myself. Clearly, it wouldn't be a problem for me today - but at 12 it was a whole different story. My mom refused to have me in class with her so she went directly to the principal and demanded that my teacher was changed or she would take me home for the day ... don't mess with mom's little girl.

We arrived at Children's yesterday at 1:30pm, as directed and were promptly taken to the pre-op room. Answered the usual questions and got Caden in his gown. We were told the ENT and anesthesiologist would be in shortly ... move forward to 2:30 pm ... still no ENT or anesthesiologist. I poke my head out and kindly ask the nurse if she knows how much longer it will be. Dan and I were running out of tricks - we have a 15 month old that hasn't ate since 6:30am - 8 hours prior. She checks and says well your surgery wasn't scheduled till 2:30 and they are running 45 minutes to an hour behind. Then why did they tell us to be there at 1:30pm? I finally gave in and let Caden crawl around on the floor (Tonya - I thought of you!) at 3:30pm the ENT came in to do his pre-op conference and at 3:45pm the anesthesiologist arrives. The positive was I did like the anesthesiologist. He had experience with little people, he formerly worked in a skeletal dysplasia only unit at another hospital (PERFECT!) and was aware of all the problems that could arise with anesthesia and a little person. At 4:00 pm our little buddy was FINALLY taken away for his procedure. Caden rocks! He went 9 hours without food and never totally lost it!

Waiting in the pre-op room

The adenoidectomy went fine and then Caden was taken to the MRI. We spoke with the ENT doc after the procedure. I had also asked him to get a good look at Caden's tubes! It seems like Caden pulls at his ears alot but it may be because of teething. He said Caden's tubes are working their way out and probably only have a couple months before they fall out! UGH! WHY?! I know this is supposed to happen 6 to 12 months following the procedure and he has had them for 4 months already ... so the math add's up. Just wishful thinking.

At 7:00pm they called us back to the pre-op room to let us know Caden was having a hard time coming off the anesthesia and they were going to take him to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. At 8:00 they finally came out to bring us back to see Caden. We get back to where he is and our poor buddy is SCREAMING hysterically and is very visibly upset! As soon as he sees Dan and I he begins to calm down. I still am unsure as to why they didn't bring us back sooner! I begin eavesdropping on the following conversation ... Nurse A, "He already got .453 ml of relax medicine". Nurse B, " Well we just gave him .985 ml of relax medicine." DR " Why was the same medicine given twice?" (Measurements and names of medicines I don't remember) Caden begins to calm down, but calms down too much. His obstructive apnea starts to kick in, he is too relaxed. His eyes are rolling back in his head. They are having to pinch his lower cheeks to keep his tongue from rolling back. At this point they have 7 different nurses and docs standing by. AND my blood is STARTING to boil! Do these people have a clue what they are doing? Are you really a nationally recognized Children's hospital?! So then the conversation turns to the Dr saying, "lets give him .98 ml of awake medicine".

At 10:00pm they decide they are going to try the bi-pap since he is still having difficulty breathing and is unable to rest comfortably. I let them know he is prescribed a bi-pap at home but after two months he still will not tolerate it . They proceed with calling respiratory therapy to get a bi-pap. The respiratory techs, 2 of them, pin Caden down he is screaming bloody murder. I'm telling the respiratory tech, "sorry to be a bitch, but this is a joke!" - The nurse says let me go see if we can give him some calming medicine to tolerate the bi-pap. I loose it and YELL - go GET the Doctor I need to speak to him... hence the intro of I'm becoming my mother. I tell the doc I don't want Caden receiving these medicines. My fist are clenched and I'm thinking, Dan, "your gonna have to bail me out of the slammer" .. but I made it through. After about 15 minutes of Caden screaming with the bi-pap on his face he calms down and conks out. I must say - the bi-pap did make a huge difference in his sleeping. I have never seen him sleep so peacefully, he finally fit the mold of " sleeping like a baby". He woke up three times between 11pm and 8 am and each time was pretty persistent about pulling the bi-pap off but the respiratory tech would pin him back down with it. One time he even yanked his IV and they had to re put it in - no fun!

So, I am left to answer the question do I want to traumatize my child each night at bed to get him to wear the bi-pap mask? I haven't decided yet!

Upon our entrance of the room I also notice a sign taped on Caden's crib "Newly Diagnosed Cervical Stenosis" The sign continues to haunt me the entire time. No one had officially let us know the results of the MRI. Each time a different nurse or doc of the ICU would check on Caden I made it a point of letting them know I want to see our geneticist before we leave for home.

We make it through the night. Dan went to sleep at his parents and I attempt to sleep on the pull out bench in the room. I don't think I got more than an hour total sleep. My adrenaline was flowing and every time I would dose off a monitor would beep or Caden would awake! I layed there realizing I am addicted to technology! I had no cell phone, no internet, no BLOGS!

Morning arrives and the ENT comes to check on us at 7:00am. Says Caden looks good his breathing looks better and we should be able to leave in a couple hours. The anesthesiologist came to check on Caden. He gave me his business card in case I have questions and I asked if I could request him for future procedures - he says I can try. 9:00 am rolls around and Caden is getting fussy, I can tell he is getting hungry. I ask the nurse if I can feed him and she says let me check with doctor. 20 minutes passes and the fuss has turned to a cry. I look in the hall and the docs are giving report, they are changing shifts. I'm tempted to interrupt them . Instead I just stand there and stare at them, can't they hear Caden screaming? I ask the nurse if they will call CPS if I feed my baby without doctors permission ... again, turning into my mother. Finally I get the go ahead. Caden inhaled his bottle!

Dr. Klane White (whom I really like) - our geneticist from the orthopedics department checked in with us around noon to review the MRI. (My persistence paid off) I showed him the sign that was haunting me and he chuckled. He says it is not a new diagnosis - it just had not been reviewed on an MRI from Children's. We knew from his CT scan, in Wenatchee, in November he had some compression but weren't sure to what degree. We pulled up the MRI and reviewed it together. He does say that Caden is very "tight" in that area. However the stenosis is showing more at the C-1. Usually it shows a little higher up on the spinal cord. I told him I was concerned because Caden kind of seems stuck in his development - which I know could be a result of spinal (stenosis) compression. He doesn't feel it is a red flag issue to do surgery right away but does want us to see a neurosurgeon to follow up. We have sceduled that next run of appointments for the first week of August. I felt a little better after talking to him. Caden rested fine today ... the two hours turned into 9 hours and they FINALLY let us go home at 4:30pm this afternoon. And again I refelect on the fact that only I can be an advocate for CADEN!

My mom drove us home since Dan had to get back to work today ... and our adventure continues. We met the Kititas County Sheriff. Grandma was in a hurry to get us home! Officer says, "you were going 10 over", Grandma plays dumb. "oh, I was" - Officer says "oh I see you have a little one in the back" Grandma says "yeah, that's my grandson he just had surgery at Children's and I'm driving him and my daughter back home" Officer goes to his car and comes back with "I'm just gonna give you a warning" (Thank goodness!) Grandma says "oh thank you, that is so nice of you!"

We are finally home. It's 11:50 pm - Grammy is staying the night with us. Caden is sleeping peacefully in his crib ... I'm exhausted. I've been up for 41 hours ... and this post has become WAY too long winded ... oh no, another trait of my mothers! ... as long as I don't start collecting cloth napkins (sorry Great Grandma!)