Friday, July 26, 2013

Little Kian's Update, Our New Playground, & Airlie's First Dental Visit!

Life is busy around here!  Little Kian and I traveled home from Cincinnati last weekend, and I started back to school this week.  Needless to say, our sleeping until 7 a.m. is over, as is our staying up late!  In the midst of trying to get myself and my kiddos reintegrated into reality, I failed to find time to post an update on Little.  Our friends and family are just precious, as they have called, emailed, and sent texts to check on the little guy.  Thank you so much for your prayers.

When we arrived at Cincinnati Children's, I could feel Kian's anxiety begin to rise.  His first and foremost diagnosis is definitely the white-coat disease!  As we sat in the waiting room, he busied himself.  A young nurse stepped into the waiting room and announced that is was "Cayenne's" turn.  Yes, she said Cayenne.  Medical people always do!  Then she said, "Did I pronounce that correctly?"  When I told her that his name was Kian she said, "Oh, that was my second guess!"  Really?  One would choose in pepper...over Kian?  I digress...
We met with our new feeding team that consisted of an Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, RN, and Dietitian.  They were all so nice and inviting.  Kian was even them (not so nice to the lady that called him Cayenne that TRIED to get his weight and height).  To make a long two hour feeding clinic visit explanation short, he has had no significant growth in the last six weeks.  His variety of foods has not expanded.  He indicated quickly to them that wet foods, such as the pineapple they placed on his tray, was simply NOT going to happen.  He throws wet foods, and it is not in a naughty-little-boy-kind-of-way.  With his sensory issues, he simply can't stand the sight of those kinds of foods.  He frets, worries, and cries until it goes away (typically, to the floor).  He is still bottoming out on the growth scales.
After meeting with the team, they met with our GI physician.  He, in turn, presented us with recommendations.  Kian needs approximately 200 additional calories per day.  They asked me to push the V8 Fusion that he once liked, rather than give him the water for which he begs.  They made plans to perform another endoscopy in October, specifically to look for signs of Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).  EoE is an allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus.  He also discussed utilizing a therapeutic brushing technique along with joint compressions to decrease his anxiety prior to eating.
I drove home optimistic, only to discover within a couple of days, that the little guy with the big attitude is NOT going to entertain the idea of V8 juice.  He took one swallow, and for the first time in his life, he looked at me and said, "it burn."  He wants "wahtie."  There is no way to get the extra calories down him every day, and this week he has even decreased his intake of formula (Boost 1.5).  I called the dietitian yesterday, and she sent our GI physician an email requesting that we go ahead and scope him sooner than October. 
I feel like we are progressing in the right direction.  I am so glad that our dear friend and Speech Pathologist, Ms. Jan, told us about Children's Hospital.  It's a wonderful place, full of magnificent folks, even if about half of them think I named my child Cayenne.  More to come on the Little Hot Pepper...

In other news, we built a playground this summer!!!The kids are blissfully happy, and we play on it every day!  Tonight we were out there for an hour and a half!  They can't get enough.  I play just as hard as they do!

Airlie and Cavan also went to the dentist.  Cav was GREAT!  Of course, he has been several times.  I was scared to death for Airlie.  I was scared that she would have cavities on every tooth.  I was scared she would gag and throw up, like I almost do every time.  I was scared she would crawl under the chair and scream, like she does when she has to get immunizations.  I was just scared.  Scared for her, scared for me, and most scared for my childhood friend and dentist, Jeff!  It can best be described in pictures.  Yes, of course, I was taking pictures during the traumatic ordeal!


Come to find out, sitting in the dentist chair was the hardest part (see breakdown photo above).  Jeff was able to calm her down immediately and gave her orange dreamsicle toothpaste.  (Which, by the way, Cavan and I did NOT get orange dreamsicle.  We got Gross Cinnamon flavor.)  All went more breakdowns...and excitement when she received her goodie bag of dental supplies.

Airlie's new BFF, Dr. Jeff

Life is good.  We are BEYOND blessed.  We are highly anticipating our one year anniversary as a family of five and Cavan's first day of kindergarten, both occurring on August 13th!  That will be a busy blog day! 
Also, please keep our friends Jared and Amanda in your prayers as they travel to China (in early August) to bring their little boy, Will, home!!!  147 million MINUS ONE!!!!!!!!  Woot woot!
'Tis A Grand Life We Live Daily!  Love, Stacy

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kian is back in Cincy!

After a summer of extremely limited progress with Little Kian's eating issues, we find ourselves back in Cincinnati tonight.  This time, however, I am excited!  Tomorrow morning, we meet with his new "feeding team."  Cincinnati Children's Medical Center uses a team approach to treating children, and I am certainly a FAN!  Our appointment will last three hours and will consist of OT evaluations, SLP evaluations, evaluations by a dietitian, nurse, and our GI physician.  We should, hopefully, leave tomorrow with a specific list of objectives to work on until we see the team again.  Please keep Little in your prayers tomorrow, as he hates doctors.  He is also going to be asked to eat for them.  I have brought a variety of foods, all of which I anticipate will be thrown at these nice folks. (Insert embarrassed mom face here.)
To ease the discomfort of the medical visit, Little and I left early this morning at arrived in Cincinnati in enough time to have an entire day of FUN!  We visited the phenomenal (!!!) Children's Museum.  Here are some photos of our encounters:


He REALLY liked the drums!

The veterinary clinic had neat x-rays for the kids to see!

Shopping at Kroger

He filled up that dump truck 145,000 times!  And so did mommy....

When we arrived at our hotel, Kian immediately took off his shoes and began jumping on the bed.  Shhhh....don't tell Granny!

For dinner, my date and I ate at 360.  It is rated one of the most romantic restaurants in Cincinnati, giving a revolving view of the city.  It was very fun!

After a dip in the pool and hot tub, Little Kian is asleep.  Keep him in your prayers, as he is going to be totally stressed out tomorrow. 


Birthday Update #4

The culminating birthday event took place on Monday night, July 8th.  Yes, that was ten days ago.  As always, I am a bit behind!  There are simply not enough hours in the day!
We had such a fun party.  Airlie had been looking forward to it for MONTHS!  I was forced to order the plates, napkins, and beloved party hats at the end of April.  Her anticipation was so invigorating, and her methodical planning was a wee-bit scary, considering that she is only four.  Hey...if you need a party planner, I know one.
As her guests arrived at our house, she would squeal with excitement, greeting each one with a hug and/or kiss.  Even though she appeared to be most excited about the guests, she really wasn't.  Just to be brutally honest, it was the cake.  She talked and talked and talked about the cake.  She doesn't even really like cake, however.  She likes the icing.  She will ask for a second piece, just to lick off every last bit of icing! 
I was beyond proud when Airlie wanted to have pizza at her party.  That's easy...yay!  She barely ate any pizza though...just waiting for the cake.  With the cake, came ice cream.  She chose strawberry swirl flavor with sprinkles.  Sprinkles have become a tradition at our house.  All of my babies want several containers of sprinkles (a.k.a. pure sugar) to lather their ice cream in at birthday parties.  I go with it...and then spend the next three days mopping! 

Airlie loved her balloons.  She carried them around throughout the party, getting her guests all tangled up in one another.  Balloons make her smile.  I remember when she was handed to us eleven months ago, distraught, a much more prepared adoptive parent, handed us an orange balloon.  Smart guy...balloons are swell.
Airlie opened each gift with enthusiasm and sheer joy.  She was so excited about EVERY card, every bow, and every package.  She hugged everyone that gave her the gifts and even modeled the items for all to see.

We had a house full of love on that Monday night.  We appreciate everyone who came and made her special day, her FIRST special day, important.  I truly think we have celebrated enough this year to make up for all of the lost birthdays BUT for some reason I think she may already be planning for next year...

My prayer is that THIS four-year-old will grow to become a magnificent world changer!  Changing the world for the cause of Christ...that's our mission!

Love, Stacy

Monday, July 8, 2013

Celebrating 10 (and soon-to-be 11) Months Together!

In June, we spent our 10 month anniversary as a family of five at Tybee Island, Georgia.  It was Airlie's first vacation, and Little Kian and Airlie's first time at the beach!  Cav has been to the beach three times, so he is a pro!  We had so much fun...just being together.  The babies loved to have both mom and dad's attention for seven solid days.  Here is a photographic journey of our trip, told from Cavan's point of view!

DAY 1:  The only fun things about driving ten hours to the beach were the playgrounds and ice cream!   The playground was the "funnest" though!  In our car seats, we had to stay in our own space and not touch each other.  That was hard for us, especially Sissy.  She was in the middle and kept putting her feet on the front seats.  Mommy's hair would get caught under her foot!

DAY 2:  We ate breakfast and then went to the beach!  It was so much FUN!  I loved the water, but Kian and Airlie didn't!  They went into the water (holding Mommy's hands) when we got there, and a big wave knocked them down. That was enough to terrify them.  They were screaming and crying.  After that, they stuck to digging in the sand.

After the babies took a nap, we went to Skidaway Island State Park for a hike.  They had a neat museum, and we saw many cool exhibits and animals.  My favorite animal was the snake!   
Airlie liked the snake too!

This is a replica of a dinosaur that was discovered at the park in the early 1900s!

After we left the state park, we happened upon a super-cool playground!

We ended our day at The Crab Shack.  I had pizza and Airlie had a hot dog.  Mom and dad had seafood...yuck!

DAY 3:  Little asked to go on a boat ride.  He doesn't talk much, but when he does, mom and dad tend to jump!  Since he asked for a boat ride, we ended up on a dolphin tour!  We saw several dolphins, even a mommy and a baby!  It was a blast!

When the babies took a nap, mom and I went to the pool!  The pool was my VERY favorite thing to do!  Shhh...don't tell the babies we left them out of the fun!

Dad and I cooked up some shrimp on the barbie!  While we cooked, the babies and mommy took a stroll down the road!

DAY 4:  We began our day by touring Fort Pulaski.  It is a Civil War site.  Mom almost had a nervous breakdown because the walls were elevated and there was no safety rail to keep us all contained.  Fortunately, we all lived and she calmed down when we were back on the ground level.  She said that we were all hard to get and that she doesn't want to lose us!

After Fort Pulaski, we drove about 15 minutes to a wildlife center.  Dad is our hero.  Why?  Because he pushed the double stroller two miles through the supposedly "stroller-friendly" wilderness trail.  It was really hot, but we made it!  He crashed into tree roots often, but, again, everyone survived.
Do you know how big an eagle's nest is?  We think we could fit another 4 or 5 kids in it!

We returned from the wilderness center and spent the rest of the day at the pool.  We LOVED the pool!

Kian called the pool a "bath!"

DAY 5:  Airlie's favorite activity was riding a horse and carriage through Savannah.  I was so tired, the seat was so comfortable, and...

The day we toured Savannah was a very hot day, unusually hot, the locals said.  Dad, once again, pushed the double stroller down to River Street.  We took a breather at The Pirate House.  Again, Airlie had a hot dog and I had a cheese sandwich.  Mom and dad enjoyed good southern cooking, and Little ate crackers from the salad bar.  We all were mighty scary pirates...

After our big day out, Airlie spent the night dressing up Little. 

Certainly his color....

DAY 6:  Mom and dad were pooped from yesterday's hot excursion.  They took the easy-out this morning and, much to our delight, took us to Monkey Joe's!  It was an entire gymnasium of jumpies!  Woo hoo!!!

We knew it was time to go back to our condo when we found the babies lying on the floor.  Tired, tired, tired!  After a nice nap and dinner at Stingray's (this time Airlie and I had fish instead of hot dogs and pizza), mom dressed us up in our crab outfits for beach pictures.  Ugh...the pictures.

Little was still fretting about his near-death (or so he thought) experience with the water.

We LOVE Tybee!

DAY 7:  It was our last day.  After a yummy breakfast on the deck, we spent our final morning at the beach and at the pool! 

I enjoyed my dad pulling me on a boogie board!

The babies busied themselves by digging, digging, digging!

The Little Hot Cayenne Pepper pondering life...

Airlie digging a mountain!

This giant crab started chasing mom and the babies.  Dad and I had to rush out of the ocean to save them.  Airlie and mom were running and screaming.  Little was paralyzed and crying.  Mom was screaming, "It's a giant!  It's a giant!"  People were really staring at us.  Airlie didn't know the name of a crab, but learned quickly from mom, calling it a "giant."  She still calls it a giant!

Little saying goodbye to the beach...

Me saying good bye, wishing we didn't have to leave.  What a fun time we had!

Airlie thoroughly enjoyed her first family vacation!

We took one last dip in the pool!

After a nice nap, we went to the coffee shop and ordered smoothies!

The millions of crazy hermit crabs peaked our interest!

We had such a beautiful vacation.  I cried and so did the babies because we didn't want to leave.  I love having mommy and daddy all to myself.  Tybee Island is THE BEST!

Love, Cavan