Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Ups and Downs

Let's start with the good news: we had a fantastic time at the cottage.  All my siblings save C-Hova were represented (he had dental school duties) and our cottage was mad blingin'.  It was only around 2 hours away and we could get there without having to hit the cottage gridlock on the 400.  It had a big swatch of sandy beach, a bunch of water toys, a ground-level giant rec room and a second floor living room so we weren't all on top of each other and we had some place to send the kids, wi-fi, satellite tv, and the water was shallow for at least 75 feet out from the shore, so we could relax without worrying (too much) about the kids drowning.  Here are some snaps:

LOL at how giant the Great Gazoo's feet look in this pic

Elton John?

The arms were my idea

Here's the bad news: we slept in a king sized bed while we were there and got used to it.  I did the number crunching to see how much it would cost us to upgrade to a king (mattress, bed frame, 2 sets of cotton linens, 2 sets of flannel linens, 1 duvet, 2 duvet covers) and it was more than I want to spend at the moment.  Although we could probably sell our current frame for a good price and maybe our mattress too...still not worth it.  It would be a bitter pill for me to swallow to get rid of our frame - it's a mid century beauty with narrow, tapered legs and I haven't seen many of those around.  King sized mid century frames I never see.  So we'll stick with being squished for now.

Good news: first day of school/me home alone seems to have gone really well.  I got the Big Yam to daycare only 15 minutes late, and this is after he slept in like whoa.  The Wonder Twins did their longest sleep stretch yet - from 9:30pm - 4:30am and didn't seem too fussed about me ripping them from their peaceful swaddled slumber and throwing them in their car seats for the daycare ride this morning.  Our daycare provider said that to make it easier for me, I could call her from outside of the house and she would come out and grab the Big Yam so I didn't have to unpack everyone, which is so sweet of her.

At the cottage, the Dotytron and my sister convinced me that I need to keep the Big Yam in daycare full time, so I frantically called J to let her know.  Lucky, because she was interviewing someone this week to fill the other half of what would have been his part-time slot.  I talked to her today and told her that we would pay full-time even though I'll probably only have him in 4 days a week and she is refusing my money so we're in the middle of negotiating.  She's so sweet.  We are so lucky to have her.

Bad news: leading up to the first day of school was kind of fraught.  The Dotytron and I got into a classic Dotytron-Lagerfeld scuffle because he was a bundle of nerves and I was being insensitive to his nervy bundle.  He was on edge last night and I was trying to figure out what City of Toronto programming I should sign up the Big Yam for.  I asked him if he thought basketball or soccer was good and he was being weirdly negative so I got snappy in return.  The Dotytron's point: putting the Big Yam in basketball is a waste of time since he hasn't shown any interest in ball sports.  My point: he hasn't shown any interest because we haven't exposed him and this will give him a chance to try it out.  Let's just say that the argument culminated in me peevishly saying, "If you had YOUR way the only skills he'd learn would be from the Halloween Spooktacular!"  (actual name of Halloween crafting program).  Saying the word "spooktacular" during an argument is its own reward.

Finally rounding out the bad news, the Wonder Twins had a follow-up ultrasound to check up on the cysts in their brains that were first detected when they were in the NICU.  The Great Gazoo had some teeny ones, but Prof. Gantok had some bigger ones.  While we were at the cottage, I got a call from my doctor saying that the Great Gazoo's cysts had disappeared, but that they didn't know about Prof. Gantok's.  I was concerned and then even more so when I came home to find that he had been scheduled for another brain ultrasound.  I didn't know if it was because they didn't get proper images the first time, or if the cysts had gotten bigger.  I called my doctor today and he said that the cysts in Prof. Gantok's brain were still there.  One had either disappeared or couldn't be found, and there was a new one.  The problem with the diagnostics is that ultrasound is an imprecise tool, so the new one could have been there all along, or have just appeared.  The same could be said for the one that "disappeared" - maybe it just wasn't found this time around.  They are in an area of the brain (the ventricles) that have to do with the neurons that coordinate motor skills.  The worst case scenario is that it's periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) - a type of brain injury common in premature infants deprived oxygen to the brain that can cause cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and behavioral issues.  You can find out more (if you are so inclined) from this article here.

Low birth weight (less than 1500g) and mechanically ventilated premature infants born at less than 32 weeks' gestation are at the highest risk for PVL.  The Wonder Twins were both more than 1500g and cleared the 32 week marker (just), but they did have to be mechanically ventilated for a time.  My doctor said that the presence of cysts are just one part of the picture.  He, our paediatrician, and the paediatricians at the neo-natal follow up clinic will also be on the lookout for other things - like low (muscle) tone, if Prof. Gantok favors one side of his body over another, difficulty feeding, etc.  So far, he doesn't show any of those symptoms.

*knock on wood x 1 billion*

SO SUCKS.  We have to just keep hoping for the best.  For right now, he certainly seems like a regular baby.  Although having the talk with the doctor is making me second guess everything.  Like, maybe that's why he looks so scared all the time?  Maybe that's why his eyes are darting around all the time?  Maybe that's why he's needier than his brother?  You can go crazy looking for things to be wrong, especially when you're prone to hypochondriac tendencies like I am.

I'm no doctor, but I can prescribe lots of hugs and kisses and smushes and cheek-eating.

Cutest little turtle, ever.

Chipotle-lime marinated pork (a winner!), zucchini blossom fritters, steamed carrots with mint butter. And the WORST corn I've ever eaten.  We bought it from the Farmer's Market.  I think it was feed corn.  The WORST.

We've gone back to mostly dairy-free, healthy eating since Sunday.  It's felt nice, although I'm ravenous all the time and I miss all the dessert eating at the cottage.  I've been feasting on peaches and nectarines a plenty though.  GAH.  They are SO GOOD RIGHT NOW.  


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