Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sleepless in Springfield

I've been making lots of runs to Starbucks lately. My sister-in-law blessed me with a generously loaded SB gift card for my birthday.
So, you know, I feel a little less guilty spending a gift card than, say, uh...grocery money.  But I've never done that. *wink*

What can I say?


::Yawn::

If you're a Facebook friend, you know sleep has been hard to come by around here.

Two words:  Ear Infection.


If you've been there, done that....you know just what I'm talking about.

FINALLY, after 9 (yes, NINE) weeks, four antibiotics, several trips to the doctor, many tears, lots of screaming, and several trips to Starbucks, and countless sleepless nights,  I think Luke is on the mend.

We're still going to see an ENT though, because honestly, I think tubes might be his answer.


For the past two nights, he has slept 7-8 hours straight.  Relief. Our boys are usually such GrEaT sleepers. They easily sleep 11 to 12 hours without making a peep.   The past several weeks took me back to the beginning....those "newborn nights" when you're up every hour or two.    All.Night.Long.


In the midst of all this, Luke's actually had some great things happening.   I'll get around to updating you on all of that....soon hopefully.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fly the Friendly Skies

We recently embarked on our very first airline travel adventure with two kids in tow.  Last summer we pulled out of our Nixa driveway and headed to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It was a 15 hour drive and fairly uneventful.  My parents were with us so perhaps the 2:1, adult to child ratio made things seem much more manageable.

In any case, I wanted to just make a few comments about our trip. So many of you were helpful in passing along travel tips.  Thought I'd share what worked for us and what didn't.
Overall, it was a good trip.  And we'll probably do it again sometime......like in 3 months....for my sister-in-law's wedding in Florida. :)

First I should say...flying, in general, is not what it used to be. So kids or no kids, the whole process is just a hassle anymore.  And expensive...increasingly ridiculously expensive.

If you are traveling with younger kids, here are my DO's and DON'Ts

DO:

* use a back-pack as your carry-on.
* pack that bag very strategically with outside pockets full of must-haves like pacifiers, antibacterial wipes, small toys, a snack or two, your driver's license and boarding passes.
* check a stroller curb side.
* bring your child's favorite blanket, lovey, or other snuggle item.
* bring a book that you normally read to your child at bedtime. (to trick them into thinking that it's time to sleep!)
* make sure ALL liquids are in ONE spot when you go through security.  They tore apart my strategically packed bag because somewhere in some pocket was a container with liquid in it than I forgot all about.
* bring lots of snacks, especially ones that aren't too messy. (fruit snacks, string cheese, granola bars, raisins)
* borrow or buy new toys for the trip.  Nothing fancy.... some things from the dollar bin will do. Stickers are very entertaining and easy to pack. :)
* bring a change of clothes for baby AND for you (just an extra shirt for you would probably be fine)
* bring a couple gallon-size ziplock bags for soiled clothes.
* get an extra shot or two of espresso when you order Starbucks during your layover.
* ask to board early (I was surprised this wasn't offered each time...sometimes you have to ask for it)
* wait to exit the plane until after everyone else is off (if your layover allows)
* be prepared for perfect strangers to offer you unsolicited advice : - /
*expect other perfect strangers to be absolute God-sends, placed in your path to help you along and tell you everything is going to be ok.

DON'T

* get your yourself all in a tizzy.  Your kids will pick up on your nervous, flustered state and act out. Go with flow and remain flexible.
* fight with your spouse. By God's grace, Andrew and I did really well. We remained calm, worked as a team and still loved each other when the trip was over! Ha!!  You need each other to stay sane through this traveling process. :)
* put anything in the overhead compartment that you're doing to need during the flight.
* expect to sit together as a family. There's only one child oxygen mask per row.
* forget to look around and see that many, many other families are doing exactly what you're doing!
* be surprised that the flight crew isn't as helpful and kind as you would think they would be (yep, there's a story there, but to save Delta's reputation, I'll keep my mouth shut and leave it at that)



Other thoughts....

*Kudos to Salt Lake City for their many play areas scattered throughout the airport.    Caleb LOVED these! It was a great chance for him to burn some energy between flights.

*The concept of a Family Restroom is a genius idea.

*I'm really thankful we haven't said "Bye-Bye Binkie" just yet. They were life-savers during take-off and landing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brain food

 Luke's ketones finally measured as just a "trace" on Monday. That means he is weaned off of the Ketogenic Diet and can start eating normal portions and more carbs and proteins.

Boy is he a happy camper.


He absolutely loves regular 'ol milk and guzzled it down. Our budget is going to love it too! At $14 a gallon, that heavy whipping cream was getting pricey.

It was amazing to see how quickly Luke "perked up" after just one meal of eating enough to feel full.  He was so happy....almost giddy.... to be able to take more bites!


Though it may sound very 'natural' to just change the way you eat, the Ketogenic Diet is far from natural. Our brains are wired for glucose. Did you know glucose is the only fuel normally used by brain cells?  Forcing your brain to burn fat instead can be great for controlling seizures....but not so great for mental alertness, concentration, energy, etc.  The diet is very strictly controlled and monitored. Luke was getting some carbs...very few.  Just enough to keep the brain happy-ish.   But I'm pretty sure Luke's is happier now. :-))


So, officially he was on the diet from Dec. 7th until May 10th.   Five months.  Still no sign of seizure activity.  Truly pray we  never, ever see another one.  Ever.


I'm so excited for my little boy!  And nervous. Never heard of anyone going off the diet after only 5 months.  But, the docs in St. Louis have been great and assure us that this is the "normal" course of action. So, I'm trusting them on this one. For those of you who have been up close and personal with the Big Bad Seizure Monster, you know how the fear it creates just kind of lingers....Maybe one day, someday....they'll be back. The seizures I mean.  For now, I'm clinging to the One who is able to calm every fear and trusting that Luke is healed of this epilepsy.