Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Shenanigans

So we enjoyed our Thanksgiving on Thursday. I made a ridiculous amount of food for the three of us, especially considering that Connor was only eating the sweet potatoes. We had hickory smoked turkey, sweet potatoes, glazed red onions, fruit salad, green beans, and rolls- quite the bounty. We'll be eating leftovers for weeks. I'm used to spending this time of year surrounded by friends and extended family, so the Thanksgiving dinner table seemed very quiet this year. We spent a little bit of time giving thanks for all of the wonderful people we know, and are looking forward to seeing everyone come Christmas time.
Bright and early Friday morning the three of us hopped in the car and headed up to Seattle Children's Hospital for Connor's upper GI series. The GI series is very cool because you get to watch your child swallow on the screen via x-ray. I've seen WAY more of the interior of my kid than I ever expected to see. We've got some truly freaky MRI pictures of Connor from when I was still pregnant with him (All you can see is a skull, brain and these huge eyeballs. It looks like I'm pregnant with a Mars Attacks baby), and in a box somewhere around here we've got pictures of his adrenal gland from when he was on the operating room table during his kidney surgery. As I recall, Jer was disappointed that they didn't return the kidney to us, as Connor would have had an "awesome show and tell" item for preschool. We probably would have preserved it in resin and used it as a paperweight, because we share a very sick sense of humor.
But I digress. Connor was not thrilled with the idea of drinking barium, even though Jer assured him that it would give him radioactive powers just like Spiderman. I can't say I blame him-- from the smell of it, it probably tasted a bit like strawberry scented sidewalk chalk. We managed to get him to take enough to see what his system looked like, but not enough to determine whether or not he was having issues with reflux. Since that was a major part of why we were there, we made the decision to let them use an NG tube to get more down him. So we strapped the poor little guy to an immobilizing board and put the tube down his nose. Connor was NOT HAPPY about this sort of treatment, and let us know about it. The good news is that they didn't see evidence of severe reflux or any gastric emptying problems, so it's looking more like we'll be able to do just a g-tube surgery! That's very exciting. Also I now know the exact shape of several of my child's organs, which was not at all the point of the procedure but is still kind of cool.
After we were finished torturing the little guy, we drove just down the road to the University Place shopping center to catch some lunch. After wandering around looking at menus posted on the doors of restaurants that read like some sort of chef's pipe dream (1 carrot and six green peas....32.00) we gave up and went to the local Barnes and Noble for some lunch and a celebratory "Yay you survived yet ANOTHER doctor's appointment" book. I walked into this bookstore and my jaw dropped. "I think I'm in love," I told Jer, staring at two stories worth of my own personal brand of heroin.
We were obviously out of our league. If the restaurant menus weren't evidence enough that we were in an area of a bit more affluence than our typical hang out spots, the fact that every woman in the coffee shop sported a Coach bag and wore some sort of black silk pant suit probably would have tipped us off. My family was currently modeling fashionable outfits that consisted of jeans and strawberry-barium covered sweaters, so we didn't exactly fit in. Barnes and Noble was happy to let us buy books from them anyway though, so that was okay.
After wandering around for one paltry little hour, Connor left with a copy of Big Smelly Bear by Breta Teckentrupp, and a DVD of WALL-E. I was dragged kicking and screaming out of the store with only one book-- a copy of Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best. I'm the type of person who likes to research things way, way in advance, so I figure I might as well start collecting relevant books now. It was an interesting read.
Today Connor had a relatively quiet day, which was probably much needed considering his last few. Connor did have one setback in potty training-- he had an accident with his diaper off for the first time in several months. He's been under a lot of stress lately, so I'm not surprised.
Potty training Connor has been a very interesting process. The problem is not with Connor. The problem is Mom or Dad not reading his signs fast enough to get him to the bathroom in time. If he's in his room trying to take a nap, it's tough to tell when he's just talking to himself and when he's trying to tell us he needs to go. If he was able to get to the restroom on his own, I'm pretty sure he'd be totally out of diapers now.
I'm not quite ready to transition out of diapers anyway. For one thing, I'd have to sew him underwear, as I have yet to find any that would fit a kid in 12-18 month clothes. I also don't want to rush him-- at two and a half, he's pretty young to be fully potty trained. He's been working himself that way from quite a young age-- when he was 9 months old he started letting us know when his diaper was dirty. I think it's because he's got so many tactile sensory issues so he's very aware of wet or messy things on his skin. He's been going on a toilet since he was about a year and a half old, and we've had some funny things happen. One time I was about to give him a bath, and needed to use the restroom first. I set him down on the floor and told him-- "Mommy is using the potty." Connor signed "Potty? Yes!" and proceeded to pee all over the rug.
I had a lot of trouble finding a toilet that would work for him. Connor can't sit up on his own, so none of the little potties would work for him as they didn't have a way to strap him in. They also are pretty big for his skinny bottom, and falling into the toilet would probably not help the potty training process in any form or fashion. I wanted him to get used to sitting on the toilet by himself and not with me holding on to him. The toilet modifiers available in therapy magazines all seemed to be either expensive permanent installations or very hard to take on and off the toilet. Finally I took matters into my own hands. I found an inexpensive plastic high chair and tray made to strap on to a dining room chair, took a jig saw and cut a hole in the bottom. I sanded and taped off the edges, and then used the existing straps to attach it to the toilet. It won't work forever, but for now it works perfectly for Connor and the whole thing cost me about twenty five dollars.
Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about my son's bodily functions, I hope that you and yours had a good Thanksgiving.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse! I don't know if you remember me -- we haven't talked since you left College Station -- but I've been following your facebook and this blog closely and just wanted to say that you are one AWESOME mommy! :)


Greymare said...

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving! I cooked for 5 (with the help of my mother-in-law, of course) but we will also be eating leftovers for weeks. It's like some kind of strange version of Murphy's Law, or prehaps a bending of physics. No matter how much or little you cook for Thanksgiving, you will have weeks worth of leftovers.

Oh, and I totally don't blame Connor for the barium thing. I had to admin that to a dog once for a barium series (he had swallowed a superball) and that stuff smells and looks like liquid chalk. Just like you said. The dog was fooled however by putting it in extra smelly dog food...

Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing you over Christmas!

Connor's Mom said...

Ellen, I continue to demand a blog from you. Jing, you can write one too. Blogs for the WORLD!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

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