wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.


Kate's Follow-up

Yesterday Kate had her follow-up from her visit to Children's in October. We were seeing a different doctor this time, since we scheduled her follow-up to be at Children's Boston North, which is their North Shore hospital (and is amazingly only 10 minutes from our house!)

Honestly, I was not terribly impressed by Children's Boston when we where there. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it is one of the best children's hospitals in the world. When we were there, we felt very rushed, they did Kate's neurological exam and told us they thought it was Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and said "Keep and eye on her" and sent us on our way. That was it.

At Boston Children's North, I could feel a difference right away. Obviously, it was WAY less crowded, since it wasn't their main hospital. It was very clean and their staff were all so friendly and helpful. Their waiting room was kid friendly with 2 TVs playing PBS kids, an awesome aquarium, kids books and a little kids table and chairs (which is more than I can say about the Boston waiting room). Kate and Jonah had a blast while we waited for Kate's appointment. After just a few minutes, the nurse came out and was very nice even though Kate started screaming because she didn't want to take off her shoes when it was time to get her weight.

The exam room had a cool Little Tikes pirate ship that kept Jonah and Kate busy throughout the entire appointment. The doctor (Dr. R.) came and started asking us questions about Kate and everything that has been going on with her. It was reassuring to talk to him for so long (he met with us for about 45 minutes!), and to hear from him that he doesn't think it is anything too serious, but he does want to figure out what is going on. He also told us that there are other things that could be going on, instead of it being the cyclic vomiting, and he wants to get tests done to rule those things out. I am so happy that is working to figure this out instead of just guessing at what it is and sending us on our way.

He said that Kate looked very healthy and she passed her neurological exam. It doesn't appear to be anything too major, but he seemed sort of intrigued and confused by her case, so he wants to figure out what is causing Kate's vomiting.

He wants Kate to be seen by a gastroenterologist, and was surprised that no other doctors had brought that up. Kate already has that appointment set for Monday. If they find anything as the cause of her vomiting, then we will obviously be working with them from now on. She would probably be put on medication that could take care of the whole thing, which would be great. If they find that her tests are negative, then we will be seeing Dr. R again 2 months from now. He said that he wants to see Kate again and hear how those 2 months went and what her episodes looked like. He said that he will probably set up an MRI to get a look at her brain and see if they can see/find anything.
He really doesn't think it is anything like a tumor, because this has been happening since before Kate was 1 and if it were a tumor it would not be so long between episodes and they would be more severe. So we aren't really worried about that being the cause of Kate's vomiting, which is a relief! I think that I would actually feel a lot better if they did do an MRI, just so that we don't have to wonder if there is anything going on in her brain.

I was much happier with our visit yesterday and finally feel like we might be able to figure out just what is going on with our little girl. I am so thankful that Children's North is so close to our house and that we had such a good experience there.

Kate has been such a trooper through all of this and hopefully we can figure this out for her. We are back to Children's North on Monday afternoon for her next appointment and I'll let you know what we find out!

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When Daddy's away....

Jake's been gone for 7 days, with 2 still to go. He will be home late late Saturday night.

Some things that I have learned while he's been away:

- I am WAY more tired that I expected. Each night, when I finally  make it into bed, I crash. I don't even make it through my nightly prayer. Usually, it takes me a while to fall asleep, my mind doesn't like to shut down... but not this week!

- Evenings are really boring without Jake here! It is lonely not having anyone to talk to, or vent to about my day. It is lonely watching New Girl (or whatever other show we watch) by myself- I have no one to laugh with me! (New Girl is hysterical and definitely one of our favorite new shows!!)

- Daddy being away affects Lily the most. She definitely had a rough start to the week, missing Daddy, and even more sensitive and emotional than she has been the past few weeks. She was even having some troubles at school on Monday and Tuesday, not getting into trouble, but again with being sensitive and emotional over any little thing.

- I am doing better than I expected. With Jake gone, and not having him here to give me little breaks or more importantly, the emotional support, I thought that I would have a harder time controlling my frustrations and losing my patience more quickly. But, I have actually been just fine this week, and have been having a good time with the kids.


Jake, we are doing okay without you  here, having fun, going out, eating well... but we all miss you and can't wait to see  you this weekend!

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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Kate has been having more "episodes" lately. Her most recent one was just this past week. She has already had 3 or 4 just since she was "diagnosed" with cyclic vomiting syndrome. I say "diagnosed" because there isn't really a way to diagnose this. It's what they think it might be, but we need to be watching her and keeping track of her episodes and looking for any changes. If anything does change, then she will be evaluated again, get other tests done, and we'll go from there.
Since this last episode, I have been feeling frustrated with this whole thing. I read lots and lots of articles about cyclic vomiting, but really they all say the same thing: there is no real way to diagnose it, there is no cure, there is no known cause. The only thing they know are the symptoms. But those same symptoms are also the symptoms to other things... So, it's been frustrating. Watching Kate go through this is heartbreaking. It is honestly the strangest thing to me: throwing up first thing in the morning, from anywhere between 15 minutes to nearly 2 hours. Then she is completely fine the rest of the day. Then the same thing happens the next morning. So strange.
Like I said, it's been happening more frequently since we were seen at Children's hospital back in October. Each episode has also been a bit different, not following the same pattern that we had seen in the past. This has been concerning me a lot. So much so that I contacted the neurologist that we saw. She helped me to feel a bit better about things, but thinks that I need to continue to keep track of her episodes, timing of them, and the other details of her episodes (which I already do). Some of those details, if they happen again, would mean an immediate trip into Boston. Also, the next time she has an episode, she needs to get labs done again to see if it is a metabolic disorder. I wasn't able to get those labs done during her other episodes because they only lasted a day or two.

I am frustrated too because I don't even know if this is what she has. They say that there is usually a "trigger", but I can find nothing that would be a trigger for Kate. 
Needless to say, I have had a little knot my stomach about this. I hate this wait and see game. We do have a follow up appointment at Children's hospital (in Peabody this time, not Boston) in 2 weeks, so I am really looking forward to that appointment, maybe getting more questions answered.
But for now we wait, until Kate's next episode, which will probably be within the next few weeks, if it continues happening as often as it has in the past few months. Please keep Kate in your prayers, that we can figure out what is going on with her, and be able to help her.

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Just a phase.... I hope.

It's 7pm. The kids are in bed. It's been a bit of a long day.

Actually the past week or two have felt pretty long. All three kids I feel, are going through something right now, although I am not sure what. But they sure are testing me.

Lily has been very emotional lately. The littlest thing will bring her to tears. And whenever Lily gets upset, it is very long and drawn out. And loud. I am not sure what is making her so emotional the past couple of weeks, but the part that really breaks my heart, and makes me confused, is that she is really taking everything personally. Every time she does something wrong, or if I gently correct her about something, or remind her to do something, she thinks it means that we don't like her. Which I really don't understand where she is getting that from. For example, the other day, she was sent to her room for 5 minutes because of her reaction when I gave her a 3 (she starting throwing a horrible fit) for hitting Jonah. I was talking to her once she has calmed down about why she was in her room. I asked her "Do you think I would give you a 3 if you didn't do anything wrong?" And she said "Yes". I asked her why and she said "Because you don't like me". Can you hear my heart breaking?? I don't know why on earth she would think that, so of course I reassured her over and over that is not the case, I do like her, I do love her, more than anything, and that there is nothing she can do or ever do to make me not love her. Jake thinks that she is testing me, but I don't know. She seems to honestly think that and feel that way sometimes. But she has said that a few times the past couple of weeks. I'm not really sure what to do about it, but I have been making an effort to really make her feel loved.

Jonah has been a bit of a handful the past couple of weeks too. He has not been the best listener lately, which usually results in him dragging a chair into the kitchen and him going into the pantry or grabbing things off of the counter. He has also been a bit aggressive lately- getting into trouble for hitting or being hurtful to one of the girls or me or Jake. Usually, he is such a sweet little guy who is generally happy to listen and do what is asked of him. Not sure what is up with him- I am thinking maybe it's a phase? He is 3 1/2....

And then there's Kate....
This is one feisty little girl we've got. The past few days, here new favorite thing to do when I give her an answer she doesn't like, is to scream in my face. Over and over. And over again. I expected some trouble from her, now that she is two. I am finding that girls are harder than boys in the early years. At least that's how it is with my kids. So, I saw this coming with Kate (of course, it would have been nice if she just skipped right over the "terrible two's"), but it still isn't easy to go through.

So, all of the kids are definitely going through something, a phase, right now, but I am trying to make the best of it and use it to teach them and love them.

If anyone has any advice on what any of my kids are going through, especially Lily (she is concerning me the most), please let me know!

We also got some great news this week!

First, Jake made the fire department medical team! This is something that he has been working towards since he joined the department. When his pager goes off, it's either a medical call or a fire call. He gets paid for the fire calls but not the medicals, because he wasn't on the medical team. But to get on the medical team, he had to go to all of the medicals to show them that he did want to be on the team. So, now that he actually is on the medical team, nothing will change except that he his paychecks will double (or more) each month! What an answer to prayer!

Also, I got a letter yesterday saying that Lily received a FULL scholarship to full day kindergarten in the fall!! I have been praying about this almost every day since I found out all of the details about kindergarten and the frustration that caused me. God really answered our prayers on this one. It never occurred to me, not one time, that we would get a full scholarship. I figured we would get some money, maybe 50%, or 75% (that's how much we got for Lily's preschool this year), but a full scholarship never entered my mind. I was so blown away- the kids and I were all jumping up and down! Lily is so excited that she will be going full day and she is most excited about getting to eat lunch at school! :) 

Thank you God for your blessings and answered prayers!

And please keep voting- we are moving up every day! Thank you!

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