1. 2. 3. Life in a Small House: Organic, Green, and on a Budget 4. 12. 13. 14. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Life in a Small House: Organic, Green, and on a Budget

22. 23. 31. 32. Life in a Small House: Organic, Green, and on a Budget

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Two out of Ten

The baby had his one year check up this week.  One Year!  Can you believe it?

We have yet to give him any vaccinations and we were leaning towards no vaccinations at all.

I did ask his doctor for her honest opinion on any that we should really research and take a close look at.  Any that she felt were important for him to have. 

Of the ten that the CDC recommends we give our babies - she told me to take a close look at two of them.  She told me to go ahead and research the side effects (can be found on the CDC website) and what can happen if you get the actual illness. 


Two out of ten were "honestly" recommended to us by our main stream pediatrician. 

Never mind what our holistic chiropractor has to say about any of them.

I really think we all need to start looking at what we're putting into our kids bodies and why. 

We will honestly look into the two that were recommended and make our decision from there.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Feeling Good

Just over a week ago we had a huge celebration in honor of not only Liam's birthday, but also as a thank you to all those people who have helped us out this past year post-stroke.  In lieu of gifts for himself, Liam agreed to have all gifts donated to the play center at Loyola's Children Hospital.  He truly had a good experience there just about a year ago and was more than willing to pay it forward.

The friends and family we invited to our celebration were more than generous.  Books, DVDs, video games, toys, games, puzzles, cars, and so so so much more.  Lots of good quality toys that we know will surely help put a smile on the faces of some patients.
Liam had a neurologist appointment today so we arranged for delivery.  Liam was waiting anxiously for Meghan, the child life specialist, to come down and meet us with some wagons to carry the goods up.

It actually took two wagons to carry it all.

After the big delivery we ate lunch in the cafeteria, which we sort of missed after having so many meals there during Liam's stay.  They have a great salad bar!

Then, finally, it was on to the neurologist appointment.  Great news on that front... we're done with that doctor unless we start to notice any unusual behavior (seizures, dizziness, etc....)! 

He did have some concerns about the speech therapy Liam has been receiving and asked me if there was something else they could do to help the aphasia.  My response was that I didn't know of anything!  He vaguely remembers another patient using something so he's going to look into that for me.  We did discuss how the strategies he's been taught in therapy have been very helpful, but still the doctor feels that there's something more they could do.  We'll see how that pans out.  (I'm to call him in about a week.)

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Monday, July 1, 2013

A Year Ago.

A year ago today I was 5 months pregnant.

A year ago today Mike and I were facing the first full day post-stroke with Liam.  We were facing this day on nothing but tiny cat naps throughout the night.  I remember forcing myself to sleep in the ambulance on the way to Loyola from Rockford.  And then, curling up on the floor of the waiting room while Liam had his first MRI.  I don't think I actually slept during those moments, but I tried.  I knew what we'd be facing the next day would be difficult and require quite a bit of energy from me.

A year ago today the uncertainty of why Liam had a stroke and whether or not he'd have another was at the forefront of our thoughts. 

A year ago today Liam could barely say a few words and preferred to answer yes or no questions.  We were waiting for a speech therapist to answer our questions as to what was going on.

A year ago Liam was not yet walking and he wasn't yet allowed to eat or drink.

A year ago I couldn't imagine what our life would now be like.

Today we've got an amazingly "easy" 8 month old who has added nothing but love and laughter to our lives.

Today I'm facing a huge clean up of a mess from a celebration party we hosted yesterday.  I slept well last night and the baby graced me with ten full hours before needing to be fed in the early hours of the morning. 

Today we're confident that the vaccine Liam received two weeks prior to the stroke was the cause and find peace knowing that he will most likely never suffer another stroke.

Today Liam had a detailed conversation with me about the firefighters he was able to visit with and what he'd like to make them to thank them (fruit salad - because firefighters need to stay healthy, not fat!).  We know Liam's language difficulties and he knows how to work around it.

Today Liam is resting in the morning hours from a full day of running, playing hockey, climbing, play fighting, and just being a typical six year old boy.

Today our life seems to have just fallen in place. 

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An Honest Recap

So.... after writing up the thing for the lawyers I figured I'd give you all an idea of where Liam is at right now - no sugar coating.

I'm just going to give some recent examples of when we've seen the effects of the stroke that happened almost a year ago.

He was getting ready for baseball and couldn't think of the word "cup" so asked where his "penis protector" was.  It was funny, but sort of sad.  This is aphasia and we are so lucky he was a good vocabulary to help him talk in circles to get his point across.  Sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes I feel like he gives up.  It also makes learning to read difficult.  How can you use picture clues when you sometimes can't name the things in the picture?

He went to baseball, caught a grounder in his mitt (on the left hand) and proceeded to try to throw the ball out of his mitt.  He still has right-side neglect.

We were practicing batting in the yard and he had a hard time holding the bat up with his right arm - the strength is just not what it used to be on that side.

And the most recent, yesterday he got stuck in the bathroom at school.  The door was too heavy for him to open with his right hand and since he was wearing his cast on the left to encourage the use of his right... he couldn't open the door to get out.  His teacher said he called for help and somebody heard him and helped him out.  She then went in and problem solved with him - told him he did a good job calling for help - and together they discussed what else he could do.  (Take off the cast and use two hands.)

So, there you go... that's how Liam's doing - no sugar added.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Every morning I drop off Quinn on the north side of school and then drive around and drop of Liam.  Quinn loves when I do this and it's something I started a few weeks after Sean was born, but only on the mornings Sean wasn't screaming.  If Sean wasn't happy, then Quinn would have to get out on Liam's side and walk around.  And now that Sean is pretty much always happy, Quinn is thrilled to get a ride around the school.  Anyway...

This morning we dropped off Quinn and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard came on the radio.  Liam asked me to turn it up and if we had time to wait 'til it was over.  And we did have time.  So we did.

Liam - pointing out that the book that the Easter Bunny brought 
him has TWO awards, "the author must be really good!"

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This Sucks

We've been working with lawyers to file a claim from the vaccine compensation fund. 

It's been pretty easy up until now. 

The lawyers have asked us to write up a summary of how Liam was before the stroke, immediately following the stroke, and now. 

Mike made some notes for me the other night. 

I just read thru them.

The last line reads, "this sucks."

It sure does.  I'm a very optimistic person and if you were to see me and ask me how Liam was doing I would smile and tell you all the positive progress.  But now we need to be realistic.  I've been putting this off and I think that's not exactly the best thing - I've been thinking about it all too much.  I'm going to just sit down and plow thru this little assignment of ours and be done with it. 

And then, as suggested by my mom, I'm going to make an entire new list of things that are going well.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And Now?

I truly believe in the Fourth Trimester.  I gladly put off doing things around the house, working out, making any pinterest concoctions, caring about what I was wearing, wearing make-up, etc. etc. for the first three months of Sean's life.  I held him.  All.  The.  Time.  and I enjoyed each and every minute of.  (I think, yeah, I think I did, even the times when he was crying and I was wearing him and vacuuming to calm him down - I enjoyed that.  Oh - I remember - I didn't enjoy the beginning stages of nursing a baby - but that didn't last long and we figured things out.)

Anyway - I've spent the last four months ignoring most of what I usually do.  Sure, the laundry got done.  I managed to keep up with Sean's scrapbook by wearing him and working on the laptop at the same time.  Luckily, Mike does almost all of the cleaning and we taught Quinn how to empty the dishwasher this past summer.  But the other stuff? 

It was as if I woke up from a very long sleep the other day.  I noticed how dirty the bathtub was.  Our basement play area hadn't been cleaned up in over four months.  I saw a goal on Liam's IEP that I'm not sure I agree with. 

And now with Sean sleeping on his own I don't know where to start!  Should I read a book?  Clean?  Catch up on some backlogged scrapbooking stuff?  Print Christmas pictures?  Finally pack up the last bin of Christmas stuff?  (Yes.  It is March and I still have one more bin.  This one houses all the Christmas blankets that needed to be washed first.  I thought it was ready to go and then I found another blanket downstairs that needs to be washed now.)  Figure out an at-home workout plan?  Clean out my closet?  Dust?  Mop?  Put make-up on? 

The thing with the sleeping is that Sean's at an age now where he really should be home for his naps.  No more trips to Trader Joe's while he sleeps away in his carseat.  So I'm going to have to figure out how to keep myself busy at home.