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Posts Tagged ‘like the literal kind’

We’ve had sort of an ongoing saga the last few months regarding Keaton’s “tummy issues”, which is the polite name for a variety of digestive problems in our second-born. Around three and a half Keaton started having a bad reaction to ice-cream. It was just too rich for his system and it went right through the little guy. At first it was just large amounts- like if he had a big cone at a shop, but then it got so bad he couldn’t even have a bite without reacting to it. Rowan went through something similar at three but grew out of it before she was five so I honestly didn’t give it much thought, other than to lay off the ice cream for a few months. Only then things spiraled and the list of foods he reacted to grew to include cream-based pasta, then cream-based anything, then milk, butter and finally WHYGODWHY cheese. The list of foods grew so fast and the symptoms became worse and worse so I headed to Dr. Google who quickly diagnosed him with lactose intolerance.

We went full on dairy-free for a month to see if his symptoms improved. It took a few weeks but eventually he seemed mostly better which was… incredibly disappointing. In the Gunter house, cheese makes up four out of the five food groups so eliminating it from dinners was not a fun task. And I don’t know about you but a world without butter is not one I really care to live in. After a few weeks we noticed some flare-ups where a couple of symptoms returned so we, instead of trying to figure out when he had most likely accidentally been fed dairy {WHAT? WISHFUL THINKING IS SUPPOSED TO WORK, DAMMIT} , decided that it must not be dairy so we slowly reintroduced it to absolutely horrifying effects. WHOOPS. So yes, from then on we knew Keaton was definitely lactose intolerant but over the course of this past spring and summer it got steadily worse.

Now if you’re in the biz { uh, the lactose intolerance biz whatitsathing}, a lactose intolerant person needs to stay away from milk and butter and soft cheeses because their bodies can’t process lactose which is the sugar found in milk protein. This is caused by a lack or deficiency of lactase, which is the enzyme that helps to process that sugar.  The good news is that most of the time hard cheeses, yogurt and “cheese-flavored” items are not an issue because they don’t contain high levels of lactose. Unfortunately we found, they were also becoming big problems with Keaton. By the end of the summer we couldn’t figure out why his symptoms were still getting bad and finally we realized the problem was the “Pirate’s Booty” snack bags we had been giving him, which contains “real aged white cheddar”. Again, this is a fully processed food made with a cheese that should not have even affected him so we became really concerned. Swapping cow’s milk for almond milk is one thing but not even being able to digest one damn goldfish cracker? Not right.

So this sent me back to Dr. Google because not only should lactose intolerant people not have reactions to a number of the foods Keaton was having but the symptoms normally take much longer to manifest. And that’s how it was when this all started a few years ago. It would take a ton of milk or ice cream or a full diet of mac and cheese everyday for a week to get a reaction but now one bite of butter noodles or a small square of cheese had immediate effects. So on top of lactose intolerance he has a dairy allergy which is a separate thing {these can go hand-in-hand but not all of the time}. Milk allergy is an immune reaction, LI is an enzyme issue. Keaton was meeting the criteria for both so I decided it was time to retire Dr. Google and head to the other kind of doctor, you know, the one with arms and legs and a degree.

So this September we began the process of getting Keaton properly diagnosed with the secret hope of getting him “fixed” {in our house “fixed” means he can eat pizza again, which is all the sweet little thing cares about}. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that I held off taking Keaton is for so long because in my experience, and in the experience of many friends and family members, our hometown clinic isn’t known for its competence in figuring out anything more than a broken bone or strep. I didn’t want them to shrug at us or treat me like one of those moms that is looking for some nice big label to slap on her Special Little Snowflake. Eventually though, Keaton was miserable and I needed to know I was doing everything I could for him.

Surprisingly the doctor was really concerned at the severity of his symptoms and instead of giving me the “eh, he’ll grow out of it” line, she ordered a number of blood tests to rule out protein abnormalities and we were sent home with 8 {EIGHT} containers to collect… specimens… to check for unusual bacteria and/or disease. That was a really fun few days, let me just tell you. Everything came back normal, but she still wasn’t satisfied so she sent us to a pediatric gastroenterologist out in the city. This guy didn’t want to give me the time of day and barely listened as I ticked off Keaton’s symptoms knowing full well he thought I was one of those moms {and yeah, we all know at least one}. But then Keaton got up on the table for the exam…

Now, if you’ve met Keaton, you’ve probably also met his butt-crack. {I’m sorry I tried to figure out how to put that nicely, and, well, that’s pretty much it.} Since he turned three-ish, no matter what we did, we could NOT keep this boy’s pants up. I always assumed it was a genetic thing because neither Bill nor my dad have any discernible buttcheeks to speak of; their chicken-legs just morph right into their back and Keaton has the same body structure so I didn’t think about it until I noticed his tummy one day. Every morning before breakfast I’d help him dress and I’d cinch his adjustable waist pants as tight as they’d go because there is seriously nothing to this boy, he is all spindly in the limbs and his tummy is so flat it’s practically concave. But then immediately after breakfast, which would be something like, a banana and Cheerios or strawberries and waffles, his stomach would be huge. No, really, HUGE. Pregnant looking. His shirt would rise up and he would inch his pants down because they were pushing on his middle and causing discomfort. But then they’d ride low and become too loose, hence: Butt-Crack Magoo, which is what he’s known as around these parts. {I should say, he thinks his own butt is highly hilarious and doesn’t mind the nick-name, should you think we’re giving him some sort of butt related complex.}

All this to say, once that boy puts any food at all in his system, his stomach gets hugely distended, ridiculously bloated. This is the one symptom that does not clear up when we go lactose/dairy free. No matter what we put in him, his tummy puffs out. And upon seeing this, the doctor’s eyes got huge and he made eye contact with me for the first time since entering the room ten minutes before. “Whoa. This isn’t normal. That is just FULL of air. Listen!” He said of the echoing sound as he tapped on Keaton’s belly. “Uh, yeah, I know. I just told you about that. ” He then asked me to repeat everything I had just said from the beginning and after some thought we agreed to schedule an upper scope and a sigmoidoscopy to see what’s going on in there and to biopsy the tissue in his esophagus, stomach and intestines.

The procedure went really well, though I will say it is so strange and surreal to watch as your child is put under. Keaton is such an easy-going kid though, so there was no fear, no nervous build-up, only excitement over getting to watch Spiderman in his hospital room and getting to pick out which smell to give the mask as he breathed in the anesthesia. It took him longer than I thought it would for him to succumb and close his eyes and I have a feeling they didn’t give him the right dose because they told us it would take him a half hour to an hour for him to come to afterward and a very shocked looking nurse rushed to our room when it was over to let us know that “Um, so, he’s already awake and trying to sit up!” I asked Keaton if he woke up during the process or if he could feel anything and thankfully he said no, but it was cutting it pretty close.

The results of that showed he has an ulcer that is trying to heal itself but otherwise everything looked good, including normal results on all the biopsies. The two major things it confirmed was that yes, he has a severe dairy allergy and lactose intolerance and no, he does not have Celiac, which pretty much floored the doc. He said if you brought Keaton into a room of 100 docs ALL of them would immediately diagnose him with it as he “presents textbook Celiac”. I asked if I should try to remove gluten from his diet anyway just to test it {this is not something I want to do, I LOVE gluten, or rather I love food and gluten seems to be in 90% of it} which he didn’t seem too excited about and told me to hold off until we do a barium study to see if there’s anything wrong anatomically.

That brought us to this week, in which we trekked back to the hospital and had the poor kid drink quarts of that chalky crap as they x-rayed him over four hours. And again, I cannot emphasize how well Keaton took this, just happy to play his new Star wars game on the iPad as he sucked down the orange flavored barium, proclaiming it super tasty, which, GROSS. Think of McDonald’s old “Orange Drink” only thick and chunky. It might’ve had more to do with the fact that he had nothing to eat or drink since the night before. We haven’t gotten the results back yet, but the radiologist said everything appeared normal which will come as a relief to my mother who likes to remind me that her great uncle or grandpa or some such was born with an upside-down stomach and didn’t find out until he was an old man.

The dairy/LI issue will just be a part of life for him. When it’s this severe this young, it most likely means he will not grow out of it which isn’t the end of the world but it is a pretty big lifestyle change. There is no magic pill he can take to help him digest it better. Although they exist for adults, the pediatrician tells me they are all but useless and not recommended for kids. Cheese and butter are staples of Midwesterners diets so dinners are hard. Cheese and milk are huge snack items and staples of hot and cold lunches. And ohmygod don’t even get me started on pizza. Birthday party? PIZZA. Family gathering? PIZZA. School party? PIZZA. Crazy-busy run-around night? FROZEN PIZZA. Book-It reward? PIZZA. Friday night? PIZZA. You know what’s NOT fun for a five year old? Replacing all those PIZZAs with SALAMI SANDWICHes. And he loooooves pizza. I know in the kid-allergy department this is far from the worst thing to have to deal with. I can’t imagine what parent’s of kids with severe nut allergies must go through when sending their kids to school cafeterias which are packed full of peanut butter sandwiches that could seriously put their child in the hospital. I get that that is so much worse of a boat to be in than my inconvenient no cheese, milk or butter boat, but still.

The other problem you run into with kids that can’t have any dairy is that you tend to over feed them fruits and veggies, which then results in many of the same undesirable side effects that started this whole thing. For awhile the poor kid lived off of apples, oranges, grapes, peanut butter toast and hot dogs and… that’s it. What makes this suck even more is that he is my GOOD eater. He will try anything and not really complain even if it’s not his favorite. He almost never refuses food and eats good-sized portions. I feel so bad when he asks for more and all I have to give him is his 4th damn apple of the day.

I will consider my little guy very fortunate if the tests comes back normal. I don’t want something to be wrong, although if that something wrong could be fixed and this whole problem could just go away… well, that might have been more desirable that what we’re looking at now which is, pretty much no different from where we were three months ago. All the “normal” results leave us in pretty much the exact same place that we started in and I know Keaton just really wanted us to find him a way to have yogurt and pizza and cheese sticks like all the other kids in his class and nope, that’s not happening. The biggest mystery seems to be the stomach distention and while it’s not painful for him it does cause a fair amount of discomfort and once his modesty starts kicking in, a fair amount of embarrassment when he can’t keep his pants up. I’m sure I’ll find solutions for him. I guess I wasn’t too hopeful for any kind of resolve from his issues but I need to know, and more importantly, I need him to know that we did everything we could to figure this out for him. And while we wait for the answer, whether it be in the coming months or years from now, we’ll be there with him, our special little Butt-Crack Magoo.

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It’s done. NaBloPoMo has reached the end and I’m not going to lie, I’m glad. This was both the easiest and hardest of the four National Blog Posting Months I’ve participated in. Easy because, with a newborn, I almost always had something to write about. I never had that panicked feeling of Shit! Maybe I can dress the cat up in people clothes and post pictures to buy me an extra day. Hard because, uhhh, we had a newborn, and I don’t know if you know this or not but they’re kind of a lot of work.

Coordinating writing time went great when I could sit up to the computer, lay Ezra on the boppy to feed him and then hunt and peck with my free hand to cobble together a post or edit and upload pictures. Unfortunately it didn’t always work out so smooth and much of the time when I was writing I felt guilty because there are always just so.many.things. I know every mom says it and I will again freely admit how bad I am at math, but how one little baby can add up to so much extra laundry is just not mathematically possible. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Having the completely imaginary pressure of the internet waiting for me to post will not be missed but it has been nice to have a focus. When one minute you’re holding a sweet, peaceful cherub, plump and happily slumbering in your arms, and the next minute the dog barks and said cherub turns on you and is all of a sudden simultaneously shooting spit-up down your back while having a massive poop and when you go to change that massive poop he starts peeing all over you and himself at the same time he is spitting up again HOW IS THERE EVEN ANYTHING LEFT IN YOU BABY and you have no idea which end to wipe first and how did things go so wrong so quickly so…yeah. To have some control amidst the chaos was a welcome break.

Another plus? Having this record of Ezra’s first days. One of the first things people ask you right after you’ve had a baby is So… are you done? For the record I think it’s totally unfair to ask someone who’s just had a baby if they’re “done” because more babies are really the last thing on your mind in the days after giving birth. And my go to answer is, well, Bill is done, so unless things fall through with Brad and Angelina, I’m probably done too.

In truth, I want four. The reality is though, that kids are expensive and holyhell a lot of work {also: THE PUKE} so I really understand why three is more than enough for Bill. Still, I think we’re both in the never-say-never camp as who knows? I might win big playing Bingo someday… you know! If I start playing Bingo! Point is, circumstances do change so we’re not closing any doors permanently but Ezra will more than likely be our last so having this record of his first weeks is pretty invaluable to me.

And now? I’m going to ride off into the sunset to revel in my family and enjoy the peace of the impending holiday season. HA HA JUST KIDDING! Did I mention we are throwing a pool party for many small preschoolers in honor of Keaton turning the big OH- FIVE? Because I am throwing a motherfucking pool party for many small preschoolers. And it is in two days and I don’t know what the hell I was thinking because DUMB and STUPID and I think I should probably buy some cake plates or a balloon bouquet or something oh god what is wrong with me. At least we don’t have another birthday to attend tonight, a full day at the dance studio tomorrow and our own packed evening of getting our tree and decorations up in the evening. OH SHIT WAIT. Of course we do.

With that? Thanks for once again for sticking out NaBloPoMo with me. I’m so grateful that people take time out to read about our adventures, even if it is only to laugh and be thankful you’re not as ridiculous as we are. Pray for my stupidity, Internet! I will need all the help I can get.

 

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The Duke is one month old today! I’m going to lovingly bullet point this post as said Duke has taken to only napping in my arms {which isn’t ideal but I’ll take it over those two days where he wouldn’t nap at all}.

At one month…

* Ezra’s hair is magnificent. After his bath it sticks straight up, electric shock style, in a faux hawk. It is the best. The one down side of all his blond hair is that it only looks clean for about 4 and a half minutes after his bath, then it gets slick with a combo of baby sweat from hats and such and so. much. spit up eeeeww.

*Cloth diapering is going great. After a trial and error period, both Bill and I are fully comfortable with prefolds. We had been using disposable at night but even with only those 3 or so diapers a night we were spending more than we wanted. Ezra’s still waking up often to eat so we haven’t had to experiment with extra leak protection, but we have lots of extra doublers from our pocket diapers so it shouldn’t be a big deal.

* Big fat baby has already sized out of the newborn clothing items. To be fair most of this is due to the unfortunate side effect of Bowling Ball Butt from the cloth diapers but I bet the kid weighs close to 9.5 -10 pounds. We’re solidly in 0-3 territory but have already added some 3-6 to the rotation.

* On Saturday Ezra went on an outing without me for the first time since he was born. Daddy took him to the chiropractor so he was in good hands while I snuggled my two giant babies for a half hour or so. It felt really weird to be without him- like one of my appendages suddenly disappeared.

* He is no longer the newest member of the family~ his cousin Jackson was born exactly four weeks after him and even in the same hospital room, pretty cool!

*Breast feeding is going much better, the girls are mostly recovered from those first few weeks and functioning great and Ezra has already gained enough head control to feed more independently and efficiently, knocking the average feeding time down from 50 minutes to roughly 35.

* I don’t know what the chiropractor did last Saturday but the boy is pooping like it’s an olympic sport and he would definitely be a contender for gold.

*His eyes are getting so so big and blue. Just in the last week he’s really woken up to his surroundings. I’m 85% sure he is smiling with intent now and not just because he is peeing. He is also starting to experiment with his voice~ we’ve gotten quite a few adorable coos out of him.

* He has a predictable fussy period, which is unfortunately anywhere between 3 and 6am. He spends this time grunting loudly between fits of sleep. A fussy period is to be expected in any newborn but I’m not going to lie…the timing could be better. Unfortunately Bill and I weren’t consulted on what time worked best for us, which is sort of inconsiderate, Baby, but whatever. I’ve researched his specific symptoms and it appears the only thing for an immature digestive tract is time; although with the amount and frequency of spit-up, he definitely has some degree of reflux.

* There are probably a thousand more words I could write, most of them an ode to the adorableness of his cheeks and the perfect shape his lips form when he’s sleeping but I’d rather spend my time nomming his sweet little face than writing about it so, with that here are his one month pictures which are only semi in focus because I have barely gotten more than 3 hours of sleep at a time in weeks …

Hi! Look at how gigantic I am!

I’m already super good at karate.

It’s no big deal. I’m just that awesome.

See what mommy makes daddy do for a good shot? She’s awesome, too.

Can’t have a photo session without a silly shot with my brother, who knows ALL about being silly. I have much to learn from him, but I’m a pretty quick study.

 

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Ezra has had a busy few days. He got to spend Saturday evening with us at his Grandma and Grandpa’s. Then on Sunday he got to go out to lunch with his grandma and aunties to celebrate Auntie Jen’s birthday where he got passed around and cuddled the whole time, living up to his nickname.

The Duke of Cuddles.

We then went to Auntie Jen’s so I could braid Ellie’s hair for a gymnastics meet. It must have been really refreshing for him to eat and poop in a multitude of atmospheres.

Then today we went to the chiropractor. I took Rowan to a chiropractor this summer to see if they could help her flexibility. The child loves dance but struggles so hard to keep up with the other girls in the stretching department and we heard a few adjustments could help this. Her dance teacher also noted that her hips seemed a little ‘off’ and that was what was impeding things. Unfortunately, the visits really didn’t do anything for her so after 6 or so sessions we decided to stop.

I had never been to a chiropractor myself but I’ve been a little desperate the last week or so because I’ve been getting pretty bad back pain and horrible tension headaches associated with nursing. I remember this happening with Keaton but I can’t remember how long they lasted and I am currently pretty incapacitated from the time I wake up until sometime between 12-2pm when the headache tapers off. I’m already on the max dose of ibprofen and Tylenol 3 from the delivery which technically should be knocking these headaches out but nope, so I thought I’d give the chiropractor a shot as so many new moms swear by them.

Bill had to take Rowan to dance so he brought Keaton with him, so it was just Ezra and I. I fed him right before we left, hoping he would conk out on the ride over and nap during the appointment. WRONG. When we got there I started filling out the MOUNTAIN of paperwork and Ezra proceeded to poop incredibly loud for 10 straight minutes. Eh, these things happen. Then I remembered I had put on a new fancy cloth diaper that had not been previously tested for leakability.

So of course it leaked. To be fair nothing would have held in what this boy put in there and the receptionist was super kind, finding me a room I could change him comfortably in {read: clean up The Horror}. Then instead of being happy to be relieved of so much shit and take a nice nap he proceeded to crex the entire appointment so I spent half the time getting adjusted and half the time adjusting the nuk into his face. It was a fun trip. And one I’m not sure will be successful as the doctor told me at the end of the appointment {wtf?} that for about a month after delivery the hormone Relaxin, which makes the joints loosen up so the baby can get out, is present making it hard for adjustments to hold because it basically turns the joints to noodles. He said the neck treatment should still help the headaches though so we’ll see.

Also, in light of his umbilical stump falling off, we managed to fit in Ezra’s first regular bath, which he did NOT thank us for. But! He smelled awfully nice when he got out so everything worked out in the end.

Why yes that is a strategically placed foot, that thing was pointed RIGHT at you,
Internet. You’re welcome.

Other than that, the baby seems to be hitting his 7-10 day growth spurt because he’s been eating longer, more frequently and for the last 2 days has been much fussier than he has previously been. He doesn’t all out scream like his brother, but just continually fusses when he’s awake and seems generally aggrieved to be alive. Snuggles help a ton, which I’m more than happy to give.

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As in, fifty months of Keaton Sir. {Well, almost, but since I know I’ll be too lazy to post on a Saturday you’re getting the early edition.}

Keaton has been trying on his Fourness as of late and while he is still the comic relief that is so very much needed in my life right now, he is also 64.7% more pouty, whiny and snotty than one {namely *I*} would hope for. This behavior peaked at the end of December, early January and thankfully seems to be waning a bit.

In the poor boy’s defense he went through a major development leap and it manifested not only in his behavior but in his eating, sleeping and bathroom habits as well. He quit eating regularly and all of a sudden got very picky about food in general. He went through a two week period where he could not get himself to sleep for hours after lights out and then woke up from bad dreams about “monsters stealing my toys”. And the hardest one of all, after two plus months of being completely night trained, he started soaking his bed every night, multiple times. After attempting sticker charts, incentives and the like again, we saw that he just somehow lost his ability to control his bladder at night {something that he seemingly had mastered so I just don’t get it} so we gave up and succumbed to the Evil Pull-up as I packed away all the cloth diapers into the far reaching corners of the Closet of Death and Doom. This last week we’ve attempted underwear at night thrice, with mixed results, so we’ll see.

Other than these little hiccups, things are going pretty rad for our Budders. His current best friend in this entire world is his sword. When he’s home he wields it against unseen warriors and monsters that take the form of the back of our couch, the wall or any number of sinister looking stuffed animals. He practices his footwork and flips {and here ‘flip’ is used very loosely because hurling oneself harry-nilly, willy-carrey though the air and into the ground with no regard for ones head parts just doesn’t sound as cool as “flips”}. In repose he shoves it into the side waistband of his pants where it stays until another battle is nigh. Also? We must call him Peter The Magnificent, as we’ve moved on from warping our children with LOtR to the works of C. S. Lewis.

Ignoring most of the major plot points, Keaton instead stands in wait for a sword battle so he can fight along with Peter.

He also has grown fond of the sword fighting in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, asking to be called Captain Jack Hook Sparrow while sporting his "Pirate Boots" courtesy of pink fluff, Justice and his sister.

He does do a pretty bad ass pirate face, if I do say myself.

When taking a break from the nobility of a sword fighting king or the scoundral-hood of a pirate, he chooses the only logical pastime I can think of…BOOTY SHAKIN’:

 

Preschool’s going okay, I think. Due to the district’s odd January schedule Keaton only had one day a week for the whole month which sort of sucked as far as getting the momentum built up to learn new skills. After Christmas Bill and I decided to really push letters and numbers with him as he still had trouble recognizing some of them. After a month of this he seems to have all the capital letters figured out and a majority of the lowercase. For whatever reason recognizing numbers was a little more tricky. The kid can count just fine and count one to one correspondence just fine, he just has trouble recognizing the letters on paper and for whatever reason still has a hard time telling apart numbers and letters in general- so if I ask if Q is a letter or a number, he quite possibly will be completely stumped. I have to be honest…I have no idea how to handle this as it was just not ever an issue with Rowan. I never even had to teach Rowan any of this at all, she just picked it up in the natural course of things and never looked back. So we’re just incorporating a lot of letters and numbers into our everyday routine and hoping he’ll figure this shit out by Kindergarten. He did chicken scratch out his name for the first time after Bill worked with him which was a huge step and he was so proud of himself.

On Tuesday Bill and I enjoyed a day out with our boy for a preschool field trip to the Children's Theater to see Harold and the Purple Crayon.

He had fun but I think his favorite part was the giant cookie we got him at my favorite bakery/cafe in St. Paul and really, can you blame him?

He is doing great in dance and seems to really like it. We were asked in to observe for the first time last week to see the first part of their dance and ohmysweetlord those little boys were so adorable. I seriously fear Death from Acute Cuteness at his recital in May. Karate is also going well, as evidenced by a certain young sir receiving another belt on the color spectrum of ass-kicking:

His green belt combination was pretty awesome.

And then he was officially bepurpled.

We were all pretty excited about it.

A couple of weeks ago we managed to get snow instead of rain which lasted a record week and a half before melting. We did manage to make the most of it while it was here though…

Looking professional at the top of our hill. Unfortunately the longest he's stayed upright on the thing is about 4.7 feet.

Other than that?

He seems to have just realized we've owned a dog his whole life and has spent weekend mornings playing tug of war and fetch with Luna and her bobo, much to Luna's delight.

Legos are moving from the bottom of the pile of toys to near the top, though I'm not encouraging this one because I'm still trying to recover from the last of the tiny motherfucking princess shoes and something tells me legos are going to be worse. We Gunters value sanity over fine motor skill development.

And while he has regularly turned down getting his nails re-painted over the last month, he did ask for ponytails a week ago, which made my tiny, cold heart smile.

So many things have changed over the course of his fifty months but Keaton remains one of the sweetest, funniest, happiest and HAMMIEST people on planet earth. We love you, big guy.

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I think a series of family check-ins is in order, it being so, so long since I’ve assaulted you with the intricate goings-on of my family. In the interest of stretching things out as painfully as possible {wow, it’s only the third day of this shit and I’m already grasping at straws} I will do one Gunter at a time, starting with the smallest, funniest, and sweetest of the bunch.

Keaton only has thirty-one days left as a three-year-old, and to be honest there really isn’t much of three left in him. He seems to have stretched up and leaned out, taking the true shape of Boy versus the shape his mother prefers which is something more akin to Mah Baby Dumplin’.  His speech is that of a normal human child, with only small remnants of toddler-hood holding out, such as “strawl” for straw, “tennist” for tennis and my personal favorite, “pupcake” for cupcake. He also still asks me for “cold hot cocoa” when he wants chocolate milk which I sort of hope he still does on his visits home from college.

Here is what’s new with our Sir…

At some point towards the end of the summer Keaton’s first true love, toy cars, was swiftly replaced by his new true love, baseball. Last spring Uncle DCFI gave us Jorie and Ellie’s old tee-ball set and though he liked it, Keaton had some trouble hitting the ball off the tee, most of the time knocking over the whole thing with every swing instead. One day, after getting frustrated with the tee, he asked if I’d just pitch the ball to him. I explained that no, that was the way big kids played and he would have to get good at tee-ball before we tried that, but if there is one thing that child excels in, it’s persistence, so finally I agreed and WHACK- he hit the ball so hard it almost took my head off. Huh. That was weird. And a total fluke, and BAM, Jesus, Keaton! Be careful of mommy’s kneecaps! I sort of need them and BOOM. Okay, okay, I’m going to get my glove and perhaps some protective gear, this shit is ridiculous.

So we’ve spent nearly every nice morning out on the driveway since, trying to avoid putting dents in the siding or our neighbors’ cars. And it really is so much fun. I grew up playing baseball in our cul-de-sac with the neighbor boys and playing catch with my dad, but try as I might, Rowan had ZERO interest in it. Finally getting to play this with Keaton is one of the highlights of being his mom {which is great because I’ve spent way too many hours of my life playing “race the car” and “crash the car” and “vroom the car” and god help me that is NOT one of my favorite things to do}.

In other big news, you might remember I foolishly made a goal list last January and one of those goals was to potty train Keaton at night {he has been day trained since he was just over two}. And for the life of us, we could not get him to wake himself up or refrain from peeing in his sleep by the original goal-date of June 30th. So my revised goal was changed to November 30th and I’m pleased to report that we beat that goal to death by a good two months.

After the big push I made in June, I completely laid off trying, figuring we’d start again after he got settled into his new preschool. The big motivating factor here is that we cloth diaper and once Keaton hit about two years old, the ammonia stench from the diaper pail with even one diaper in it was completely over-powering. Turns out I’m a stubborn asshole {surprise!} so I wouldn’t break down and buy pull-ups even after that one time we did end up buying a pack last July for vacation and it was heaven to not have to smell the stink bombs. I refused to go back for that sweet, sweet second pack because I knew I’d become a pull-up addict and then the kid would never train which was exactly the opposite of what we were shooting for.

So we took a break. {I should note here that though we were disappointed, it was clear that Keaton was just not ready and we didn’t shame or make him feel bad that he wasn’t getting it.}

Then around mid-August Keaton asked me if he could try again and to see if we could pull a mind over matter trick, we gave him an incentive: if he could make it seven nights in a row accident free, we would get him his own baseball glove. To get him started we limited night liquids to small amounts of milk or water- absolutely no juice, which goes right through him. Then we had him pee right before bed which for him is usually just before 8pm. At around 10:30, before Bill and I turn in, I wake him up to take him potty. Then around 2am whoever got up first would go up to him and then Bill took him at around 5:45am when he gets up for work.

It was kind of a pain but the kid made it 5 nights in a row before he had an accident, which, although 2 days shy of earning himself the much-coveted glove, was the best he’d ever done by far. So we started over and he made it 4 nights dry. Then oops. Then he made it three nights, then GAH, then five again until finally the kid made it seven nights and we all rejoiced as we hit up the baseball aisle in Target. {And obviously since we’re push-overs we added a real metal bat and two rubber baseballs to his reward which after weeks of not giving up, we felt the bugger truly deserved.} It’s been a little over a month with no accidents and we’ve dropped the 2am check-in. Now we could probably forego either the 10:30 or 5:45 one as well but since we’re up anyway it’s no big deal. Plus seeing his sweet little sleepy zombie-walk back to bed warms my heart so we’ll probably just stick with this routine for a while. So! You can all breathe a deep sigh of relief that I will now shut up about diapers because after six years, one month, one week and 6 days we finally made it to the promised land of the diaper-free. Halleluia, Internet. Halleluia.

Moving on!

New to this fall’s line up of extracurriculars include an all boys dance class, which is seriously the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. You think little girls in pink tights and leotards are cute? You should see these little guys stomping around in their taps and doing “cool guy poses” with the equally adorable twenty-something cool-guy teacher who the boys just idolize. We tried Keaton in this class last year but at only two, he was just too little. This year I really only tried it because the class ran during the same time he would have been sitting in the lobby waiting for his sister. And even still I made him wear Rowan’s old sparkly girl tap shoes for the first month because I didn’t want to purchase shoe’s and have him up and quit. After coming out with a huge grin after 4 lessons, I finally look pity on him and got him some nice, non-sparkly boy tappers and some black ballets to-boot {which, whatever, I don’t care what color they come in, ballet shoes always look feminine. Good thing my three-year-old doesn’t give a crap about the feminine/masculine shit 90% of the time}.

Karate is still going well, or as well as it can for a floppy, all-elbows and knees kid. He enjoys it and it’s great for teaching respect and discipline so WIN. He also started Sunday school, which ended the long and ominous terror reign of the Dreaded Church Nursery, which for some reason that we never could figure out, scared the shit out of him. I was nervous this fear would carry over into Sunday school but nope, everything is going well there.

This post is getting a little ridiculous in length so I’ll leave the school updates for another post that will no doubt be just as thrilling as this one. Turns out there’s a lot of silly {and most likely imaginary!} housekeeping when you up and quit blogging for a couple of months, but don’t worry! I’ll catch you all up. Get your breath bated, Internet, it’s going to be wild. Or really pretty boring. Yep. One of those two.

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So it’s November, which means it’s THAT time of year again. Which… just…I don’t know. I’ve done NaBloPoMo the last two years and been really happy I stuck it out for a whole month of posting but this fall has thrown us a couple of curve balls and the distance I’ve put between myself and the Internet has been intentional and while I think I’m ready to get back to writing and documenting our little lives, going from posting once a month to posting once a day for a month is maybe sort of a big step and going zero to sixty in 1.2 seconds has never been my strong suit. I’m more of a nice, reliable old person’s car than a flashy little sporty number.

Then again, it might be the distraction I need and I don’t want to screw it up by missing the first few days… so I’m really only posting today because I’m incredibly indecisive about the whole thing, if I haven’t made that abundantly and painfully clear through these two whiny, rambling paragraphs.

Moving on!

Here is where I post the pictures from last night’s Halloween festivities:

Wait…

Um…

Huh…

where the hell’d they g-

OH THAT’S RIGHT.

This happened.

Which was super awesome. Unless you’re my car, in which case it was pretty gross. Rowan and Bill had a very short-lived stomach bug on Saturday. Bill threw up in the morning for a couple of hours but was almost fully recovered by the afternoon. Rowan threw up once in the morning and once in the afternoon but otherwise felt completely fine. No fever or aches or lethargy and her stomach didn’t even seem to bother her other than right before she got sick. So when Sunday passed and neither Keaton nor I had gotten it, I figured we were in the clear. Just to be safe we skipped Sunday school/church and rested at home, reading, carving pumpkins and watching Halloween movies, taking liberal naps.

Yesterday morning he was just fine and so excited to wear his costume to preschool. After nap he was pretty quiet and refused his snack but after picking Rowan up from school he rode his bike around the block with copious amounts of that certain kind of energy only produced by three year old boys. We packed up our costumes, pumpkins and a pumpkin shaped pizza and headed to the Mallinger’s for dinner and trick-or treating. We were stopped at a stoplight two minutes from their house when huh, what’s that sound and… so. much. ew. Of course the stoplight and the puking seemed to last FOREVER and poor Keaton who looked just as surprised as anybody that the contents of the day were spewing out of his mouth remained pretty calm, which is more than I can say for his sister {or me if I’m being honest, it’s no secret that I’m not so good with puking}.

Wow. Are you still reading this? God I hope not. Anyway, Rowan stayed and trick-or-treated with her cousins and after a quick clean-up and a puke-free car ride home, Bill set to the heroic task of cleaning out the car and car seat {which FYI, he never wants to speak of again, so don’t ask} while I scrubbed Keaton until he didn’t smell like anything but Dial soap and Strawberry shampoo. He was disappointed but took the news that he wouldn’t be trick-or-treating like a champ {Jorie thoughtfully filled a bag with some of her candy and sent it home for him}. It also helps that the kid is one of the happiest pukers I’ve ever met, he even grinned and chirped out a weak “Ta-da!” after his third trip to the bathroom. Which was both adorable and heart-breaking. And also kind of gross.

So. No pictures this year but BELIEVE ME, the memories of this Halloween will be burned into my brain for probably most of eternity so there’s that. At least I can bury my sorrows in Rowan’s Halloween candy, right? And maybe {PLEASE GOD MAYBE} this means we got our Holiday Puking Badge a little early this year so we will get to skip the stomach flu that has hit us the last two Christmases. One can dream, anyway.

I hope everyone had a safe, happy and puke-free Halloween!

 

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