Sunday, February 28, 2010

No more "baby bed"!!!

Braydon and I have talked about the idea of turning Landon's bed into a "big boy" bed. We've gone back and forth about it cause we really weren't sure how he would do with it. For Landon it's more than just him sleeping in a bed without a rail on one side. He has a humidity machine that blows humidity from the machine straight to his trach through a tube. That way when he's sleeping his lungs won't get dry. For you and me, we have our mouth and nose that provides moisture to the air we breathe so our lungs don't get dry. But since Landon does most of his breathing through his trach, he needs some other way to provide that humidity. It basically looks like a necklace that wraps around his neck and attaches to a tube that attaches to the machine. Not only that, but he has to be attached to a apnea machine that keeps track of his heart beat and his breathing. All children with trachs have this machine. It is pretty much just a precaution for Landon, but with other kids that have trachs it can be something that alarms caretakers that there is a problem (like if they stop breathing). Thankfully, we have never had this machine tell us anything was wrong, but he still has to wear it. With these two machines, we thought that it wouldn't be possible for Landon to have a "big boy" bed until his trach was out and these machines were gone. We thought that Landon would get out of bed and rip things off and/or hurt himself while we were sleeping. Therefore, we decided to just wait.

The other day I read Landon a book at nap time and put him in his crib to go to sleep. Normally, he will look at a book for a few minutes and then fall asleep. I left the room and was getting ready to go run some errands while Braydon stayed with Landon. We were both downstairs talking, and we heard a big thump coming from Landon's room. On the baby monitor, you heard Landon start to cry. Braydon and I both ran upstairs and when I went in the room, Landon was on the floor!! We aren't really sure what happened, but I think Landon was reaching too far over the side of the crib, and his feet went over his head and he landed on the floor. Poor guy was scared and cried for a bit. That's when me and Braydon decided that we thought Landon was ready for an upgrade.

So, we went out and got a low, soft bed rail for one side of Landon's bed with a small area where he could climb out. We sat and coached Landon through getting in and out of the bed by himself for a few minutes and told him he got to sleep in his "big boy" bed. He was so excited and didn't want to get out of the bed. :) On his first night, Landon stayed in his bed and put himself to sleep! In the morning, he did his normal routine of reading his books in bed until Braydon went in there to get him. Braydon said he didn't even try to get out of bed until he went in there. We are so excited!!! Now I wish we would've done it sooner!!!!! Our little man is a big boy! Now we're gonna move on to potty training.... haha! Who knows, maybe he'll surprise us. I think we've underestimated Landon. He's a lot smarter than we give him credit for. :)

Other than that, things are great! Landon's surprising us everyday with how much he's eating. We're so proud of him. I've been getting Landon out of the house to see some of his friends. We went to Gavin's house the other day for a short visit before therapy. Gavin is one month older than Landon and lives in our old neighborhood. Landon watched Gavin intently and loved hanging out with him. Tomorrow I have a friend that I used to work with at the Hallmark store coming over with her little boy. I think he's about a year younger than Landon, but I think Landon will still enjoy his company. Hopefully we won't have to worry about toy sharing, but we'll see.

Last night we had some friends over for dinner and to hang out. Brad and Megan came over with baby Nevin who is getting so big. He turned 3 months yesterday. Chuck and Pyper brought Roslyn over who will soon be 2 months! It seems like they were born yesterday. Time flies! Anyways, we had dinner together because it would be our last time to hang out before Brad goes to the desert. He'll be in Qatar for 3 months, while Megan goes home to NY to be with family. Please keep Brad in your prayers for a safe trip there and back.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Playing a game of catch-up!!

Hi everyone! I haven't written in a couple of weeks. We've had quite a lot going on with lots of good changes.

First off, Happy Valentine's Day! We didn't do very much...just hung out at the house and spent some time together. Braydon got me a quatrafoil mirror that I've been wanting, and we hung it up in the front living room. We finally painted and got furniture for in there. It looks beautiful even though it's still a work in progress. I have to get a rug and possibly some pictures for in there. I've also got to get drapes. I took some pictures for you to see the living room and the half bathroom downstairs.

The half bathroom:

Another view of the half bathroom showing how the flowers going along the wall:

The front living room looking from the front door:

I will take more pictures of the kitchen and family room later. We've been slowly painting the house and trying to make it seem more like home. It's coming along. We've basically finished the downstairs except for a few accessories and things like that.

Anyways, after Valentine's Day, Carla came to visit for the first time in a year. It was sooooooooo good to see her!!!!! There is nothing like hanging out with your best friend that completely understands you. It's the best feeling in the world. We got to go have lunch together and have girl talk. We saw a movie, built a snowman in the backyard, and went to dinner with Braydon at The Melting Pot. Yummy!!! Landon fell in love with Carla the moment he saw her. He wanted her to sit down and play with him. She gave him tons of hugs and Carla was willing to go along with him. We had so much fun together and I was really sad to see her go. She has more pictures on her camera than I took, but here are a few until I get the rest from Carla:

As for Landon, we have been super busy with trying to rearrange his therapy schedule moving from four days a week to three. I talked to Landon's teacher that come out from Papillion School District. Her name is Kerri and she worked under Landon's old teacher, Lois, from Bellevue Public Schools. It was nice to get a teacher that was recommended from someone I trust. Anyways, so I have been talking to Kerri about getting Landon involved with some other kids. Not only to help him, but to help ease my anxiety about sending him to preschool. We decided to go to a couple of "classes" at the YMCA to start off with. We went into a class called "Gym and Swim" although Landon couldn't go to the pool part of it. He got in about an hour of playing and observing the other kids in the gym part. These kids were older than him by about a year, which made me nervous at first, but Kerri told me it's actually better because it will help him to have someone to look up to. They call them "peer models" in the school system, and Landon will actually have kids in his 3 year old preschool class that are 4 to help the 3 year olds learn what is expected of them. We have talked about putting Landon in preschool at 3, and I think he would really benefit from the interaction with kids on a daily basis. We will be talking more about this tomorrow. I have a meeting with his teacher along with some of the therapists from the school system. We're going to talk about what will be best for Landon in the next 6 months to a year. More on that later...

Kerri and I decided that since Landon did so well at the Gym and Swim class, that maybe we should try him in a class that has kids that are more his age. She suggested another class at the YMCA that she had taken other kids to and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the class didn't have enough interest, and it was cancelled. We found another avenue to pursue that is offered through the school system. They have a motor play group on Monday mornings where the physical and occupational therapists (along with the teachers) work together and play with the children in a preschool setting. They have all sorts of things to play with there from slides to arts and crafts to pretend vacuum cleaners. It's a come and go as you please sort of thing, so we took Landon to see how he would like it. Landon had a blast!!!! There was only one other family there with 2 young boys about Landon's age. They all played and Landon ran around pointing to all the signs. I'm excited for him to start going to preschool. I think it will be really good for him to be interacting with other children. He will learn so much from them. For now, we are going to go to this play group every other Monday. Every other Tuesday morning Kerri wanted to work with him on focusing on a task. Landon gets side-tracked and/or stuck on something and it can become quite a problem in school. She suggested we use a reward system with him to try and get him to understand that he will not always get to decide what he's going to be doing. We'll see how that should be interesting. :)

Theresa (Landon's nurse) and I took Landon in today to the GI clinic to get him weighed and for me to turn in his food journal. He weighed in at 31 lbs. and 1 oz!!!!! He's been eating soooo much more than he ever has, and is starting to do more self-feeding. I'm so proud of him and all the progress he's made. I'm excited to see what the dietician says. Hopefully, we'll hear from her in the next week or so as to what we need to do next.

I'll leave you with some cute pictures I took of our little man. Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yummy! Yummy!

Good news!!

I talked to the dietician today from the clinic at Children's. She told me that Landon is doing really well with his eating. She told me he is getting 420 calories a day from the food that we've been giving him. I feel like that's pretty good considering that he's only eating 3 meals a day with no snacks. I think an average toddler is supposed to get 1,000 calories a day, but I think with a little bit of time, we'll catch up. :) The last time she calculated his calories we were only at 360, so we're steadily climbing!

She told me to take away a few more ounces of Pediasure from his diet so he will be getting 24 oz a day instead of the 26. We just have to make up the loss of the two ounces of Pediasure with water so he remains hydrated. Braydon and I are dreaming of the day when we can just put water into the machine and not have to measure out Pediasure. It sure will make things a lot easier. Of course, the ultimate goal will be to not have to use the machine at all, but we have to take baby steps. :)

So, right now I just have to do another food journal over the next couple of weeks, we will get Landon weighed, and the dietician will calculate everything out again. It's a big cycle. :) Braydon and I discussed adding in a snack somewhere during the day so we can sneak in some extra calories. I'm so proud of our little man!!! He's doing so well and we are so thankful for him!!!

Also, I spoke with Ashley and Chelli today and they asked me how I felt about taking Landon's therapy down to 3 days a week instead of 4. I've been hoping that they would say that over the past few months, but didn't want to take that learning time from Landon. They suggested it because they don't feel like he's getting any benefit anymore from the session they share on Wednesdays. They said that they would rather have individual sessions so they can concentrate on specialized things. I think they are right, and I think Landon will progress better with one less day of therapy. That way we have the option of doing a play date instead of therapy. He needs some time to socialize with other kids. We should be starting this not next week, but the following week.

So, lots of happy changes so far this month. Let's hope and pray they continue coming!!!! :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sorry I missed January :)

Well, happy (belated) New Year! We are welcoming 2010, hoping that it will be a lot kinder to us than 2009 was. :) Hopefully there will be lots of good changes with Landon in the next year. We'll take what we can get though and would be totally satisfied if life stayed just the way it is. :)

We're gonna play a little game of catch-up. Braydon's sister, Rhea, came out to visit right after the new year and stayed with us for a few days. She was awesome company and we loved having her here. Right before Rhea came was when we got about a foot of snow, so her and Braydon tried to build a snowman, but the snow wasn't sticky enough. Instead, they decided to turn a snow drift into a dragon. I included a picture they took of it along with some others from Rhea's visit.

That is poor Rhea bundled up in several layers of clothes modeling the wonderful dragon that her and Braydon made.

A cute picture of Rhea, Braydon and Landon (being a wiggle worm).

Landon using Rhea as his personal jungle gym. :)

Aunt Gail, I put this picture up for you to see how big your nephew is...this is the inside part of the jacket you got him for Christmas...can you believe it fits?!? The outside part ended up being a little big, but it will be his jacket for next year. Thank you so much!

Landon has been doing really well. We've been going to therapies and have been working on saying sounds with the pasy-muir on. With some slight variations, Landon is doing really well and has started saying m and h sounds. We've been trying to show him how to close his lip to make noises, but we think it's a little tough for him, so Ashley has been trying to show him how to use the back of his hand to close his lips (like he does for eating). It hasn't worked yet, but we aren't giving up...we think he'll eventually get it.

Eating has been going well also. We ended up talking to a dietician at the clinic and she told us that we can cut back to 26 oz. of Pediasure a day compared to the 28 oz. Slowly but surely we're hoping to get him off of Pediasure all together and just use his G-button for hydration purposes, not nutritional needs. Landon's been doing really well with eating and we've made steps to helping him with using a spoon and fork. He'll do it for a couple of bites, but then gives up and we have to help him finish his meal. Is that normal for a 2 year old?? We had to turn in another food diary about a week ago for the dietician to study and calculate the calories he's getting. She'll let us know from that and his weight gain how much Pediasure we can take away or if we need to keep it the same. I wouldn't imagine her telling us to keep it the same since Landon's been progressively gaining weight. When we got him weighed last week he was 31 lbs. 1 oz. A couple of weeks before that he was 30 lbs. 6 oz. So in two weeks he gained 11 oz.!!

I'm very proud of how far he has come, but I know there is a long ways to go. We're getting there though. Life can only get better. We decided that Landon needed to take his first steps to becoming a "big boy", so we got him a booster seat so he can sit at the table with us. He absolutely LOVES it!! We would've done it sooner, but were afraid that since his incident in May, he might fall out of it. The high chair had more support for him, but he's been doing so well sitting like a big kid with me and daddy!!

I've also added a picture of the newest member of the Walsh household....this is "whale". It's a stuffed whale that we found at Kohl's, and Landon hasn't let it out of his sight since then. It's his new best friend.

I'm sorry I was such a slacker on January and I promise to be better this next month. :) Tomorrow is Braydon's birthday, so I guess I'll be nice to him and let him play some video games. :)