Since our last discharge from the hospital, Ian has really taken off! He is much more energetic..... if that’s possible, and full is smiles and giggles. He is also trying to express himself a lot more with sounds. While his speech isn’t really right where it should be, he jabbers on like crazy! Between the “do-do-do-do-do”s, “doi-doi-doi-doi”s, “bah-bah-bah-bah”s, and the “nah-nah-nah-nah”s, he is really starting to be much more vocal. My favorite is the “mom-mom-mom-mom”s.
He is also working on his first primary molars. This seems to be the second round for them strangely enough. Back in November, he seemed to be teething hard core back there, but no teeth ever arrived. Then, a few days ago, he started tugging on the ears again and drooling a lot more. One day last week, while we were brushing, I noticed a few small white cusps peaking up from the lower left. This kid does everything with the left first!
We are still checking his teeth each day to see when the other three molars will arrive. Twice a day, we brush his teeth with a grape xylitol, fluoride free, toothpaste from CariFree. This goes hand in hand with his nasal xylitol regimen, which certainly seems to be helping. It certainly did stave off that last ear infection that was about to take over. Anyhow, Ian hates brushing, as most kids do, but we persist. As the dental hygienist, this is my territory. We also make sure to brush his gums, the roof of his mouth, and his tongue. Afterwards, he really does seem to enjoy the grape gel. It is safe to swallow, and anything that Ian enjoys “eating” is good news in my book!! We use a ‘lil grip Plak Smacker toothbrush.
Ian now has all his incisors and one first molar. For those of you who don’t know, or get confused when your children’s teeth erupt, the canines are skipped, in favor of the first molars. Then the canines erupt, then the second molars. It gets a little tricky and LOTS of moms are in my office each year asking why their toddlers didn’t get canines. I included a picture of the eruption pattern to explain a little better. I am a very visual learner myself.
I have also noticed that we should begin saving for orthodontic work as soon as possible! Ian has all 4 lower incisors, but one is bent in behind the top teeth and he has even broken part of a tooth already because his bite is so off and he grinds his teeth terribly. We go see Dr. Buddy at my office for the first time this week.
As I mentioned before, Ian is full of energy. The last few weeks have been even more non-stop than before. The little one simply runs everywhere, or toddles very very quickly.... there is no walking. He loves sitting on the base of the stair banister. He runs there whenever someone chases him. He acts as though it is “home base.” He enjoys running from room to room pulling on everything he can get his hands on and climbing on the stairs.
Speaking of which, Ian’s fine motor control is crazy good! He pushes all the small buttons individually to turn on and off the tv and the dvd player. He evens knows how to push play. Thursday morning, he ran into his playroom and turned on the tv, dvd player, and started the movie. I heard it playing, walked in, and there he was sitting on the floor watching the movie. He also picks up small crumbs of crackers and such. His little finger pinch grab is pretty darn cute.
We are also still moving forward with packing and the new home. We will be moving the end of the month. I am very much looking forward to having half the space we have now, less than half the mortgage, and a calmer lifestyle. No offense to the neighborhood we live in now, nor the lifestyle of those living around us, but we have decided it is not for us... especially with Ian in the picture. The whole lifestyle has gotten out of control. About 5 years ago, all I wanted was to have a big job, make lots of money, and own a big house where we could live as a family. After getting all of those things, they didn’t seem important anymore. Funny thing about life and dreams though...... sometimes when you get the things you think you need, you don’t need them anymore.
Working part time now and being very involved with Ian’s adventures, priorities simply aren’t what they used to be. Oddly enough, I’m so much happier with what is happening now and coming down the pike than I ever was with the prior lifestyle. Ian also seems to really enjoy the mommy time. We still have family coming down 3 days a week to help us out with Ian and it is wonderful for him to have that time with them.
Now that the weather has been sprucing up a bit, Ian has been spending more time outside. He loves walking the paths in the neighborhood and picking up leaves, mulch, and branches. He also really likes when the wind blows his hair..... it’s really cute.
Medically, Ian seems to be very stable right now. We will meet with the pediatrician for his 18 month well visit in a few weeks. He also has a few specialty appointments coming up soon. We will meet with the ENT to evaluate and hopefully avoid ear tubes. The xylitol seems to be really helping with the ear infections. He will also meet with CHOP’s surgical department for a follow up. Earlier on in April, we meet with the genetics and metabolic diseases department at CHOP to rule out any genetic reasons for the GI troubles. This appointment is more of an elimination visit than a visit for a current concern.
We continue to make his food recipe each night and the regimen has not changed. He has a new backpack to interchange with the previous one. Now he has a dinosaur one, and a monster truck one! At night time, Ian loves playing with the IV pole and tubing. He has also discovered how to play with his belt and button much more. We have to keep a belt on him at all times.
As most children do, he proves to be a handful and brings new challenges and joys each day. I mentioned to Tom the other day that the age Ian is now has been my favorite and most enjoyable age so far. He added that it is also the first time in a long time that Ian has been “reflux, blood sugar, and nerve” stable for a period of more than a few weeks. Although we have had some random medical events occur, once eased, they too have passed. Ian seem so very happy right now and we love seeing that!! We enjoy each day with him and never take a bite, step, word, or smile for granted... not too long ago, he was living in the NICU at less than a kilogram with a PICC line. He is the bravest little boy I’ve met. His strength and determination rubs off on our family. He lights up our faces, our days, and our lives!