Sunday, October 23, 2011

Taking care of ourselves

When I lived in Gainesville, I knew of (but never met) a family with five young children.  About two years ago, the father was diagnosed with cancer and died within the year.  Sadly, the mother of these children was unable to cope with the despair.  Below is a link to a blog post one of her friends wrote.  Read it.  She really gives us all something to think about.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... the leaves are changing colors.  I am enjoying my first fall in 6 years!

I am thinking...about the letter I received from Meghan's endocrinologist today.  The blood work taken last week indicates that Meghan has low insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).  These results mean that she likely has a type of growth hormone deficiency.  I'm not sure what the next step in her treatment will be.

I am thankful...for the fabulous swim I had this afternoon. My goal is to swim 100 miles in one year.

From the learning rooms...Camille is going to preschool four afternoons a week.  She comes home singing many new songs and talking about the friends she makes each day.  Unfortunately, the evenings are a very difficult time for her since she does not get an afternoon nap.  Meghan is saying her alphabet up to J without help now.

In the a bowl full of fresh tomatoes.  I have never enjoyed a fresh tomato so much in my life!  Everyone here grows excellent tomatoes, and they have been sharing them with us.  I cannot wait until next summer when we have a garden of our own.

I am wearing...flannel PJ's.  Brrr!

I am creating...too many things.  I am hoping to make the girls' Halloween costumes and pea coats out of an old wool coat of my Grandmother's.  I also have to finish replacing the velcro on Meghan's diaper covers.  I would probably get more done if I took the sewing machine out of the storage room.

I am going...a bit crazy.  Some days I just really miss the life we used to have.

I am wondering...when the Simple Woman's Daybook got all of these categories.  I don't remember answering so many questions!

I am reading...a book about the case for the canonization of JPII.  I would tell you the title, but that would mean I would have to get off of the couch.

I am hoping...we will be able to find a house in December that suits our needs and that we can afford. 

I am looking forward to...the end of soccer season.  We haven't seen much of Ken in the last two months.  I miss our Friday night movies.  Meghan asks for him all day long.  Camille just keeps making plans of things she'd like to do with him when he gets home.

I am hearing...nothing.  Everyone else is in bed.  I should be in bed too, but I love these peaceful nights.

Around the house...we have a mess.  I cannot wait until we live in a space more than 500 sq ft. 

I am pondering...the best way to deal with Camille's poor behavior.  I know she is tired, but we just cannot go on like this for the entire school year.  Time outs don't work, spanking doesn't work, taking away toys doesn't work.

One of my favorite things...when Meghan and I pick Camille up from preschool, Meghan and Camille give each other a long embrace as though they haven't seen each other in months.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Meghan has a kidney ultrasound and nephrology appointment tomorrow.  I have to go to the YMCA every day this week so I can squeeze 12 visits into the month of September so we get our $20 insurance reimbursement.  My parents are visiting this weekend.  Woohoo!

A picture for sharing...Camille loves her dance class!  Dancing is truly the bright spot in her week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our Little Coconut Talks!

Granny was trying on winter jackets, so Meg tried on hers!


Meghan has endured a lot of medical tests, procedures, and doctor visits this summer, but she is still her cheerful self.  Her verbal skills are coming along nicely.  About two months ago I started teaching her the alphabet by having her repeat each letter after me.  She now skips the repetition and just says the next letter in line, followed by a giggle.  Meghan speaks very clearly and lets us know what she wants, when she wants it.  She knows a lot of words, but her favorites are eat, done, Granny, Papa, please, no, yes, bubbles, and outside.  Every so often, Meghan will put three words together and form a sentence.

Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do
Meghan is also very musical.  She loves to sing Elmo's song.  She sings "La la la, Elmo" all day long as she plays.  At mass she sings "La la la" whenever the music begins.  She has also taken to singing Alleluia during mass and at home as well.  Given her success with the alphabet, I decided to teach her songs in solfege.  Solfege is the "do re mi" system of assigning syllables to notes of a scale.  I am amazed how quickly she learned this and at her ability to sing on-key.  Perhaps we have a musical prodigy?  (Or maybe just a crazy mommy!)

The only area Meghan struggles in is growth.  Despite her two pound gain in the spring, she is not catching up or keeping up with a normal toddler's growth.  She weighs about 16 pounds right now.  Her height and head circumference have also "fallen off" several curves this summer along with her weight.  So far all tests have come back normal.  The GI doctor did every test she knew, including scoping her entire digestive tract from top to bottom, and everything looks completely normal.  To all those that suggested celiac disease, she definitely does not have that, but thanks for your concern.  We have one (hopefully) last kidney ultrasound and visit to a nephrologist at the end of September to ensure her kidneys are still growing and functioning appropriately.  This past week we visited a pediatric endocrinologist, which was new for us.  Meghan had more blood taken to test for thyroid dysfunction (for the 3rd time) and growth factor.  Once those test results are back, we get to "wait and see" for four months. If she grows or she doesn't grow, more growth hormone testing will likely be in her future.

We keep trying to tell ourselves that Meghan is just a very petite child like a few of our ancestors, but then reality hits us when she plays with other children her age or younger and they all look like giants!  Normal children follow a growth curve.  Even Meghan's petite sister weighed 19 pounds at one year of age.

Please continue to pray for Meghan's growth.  I know these prayers are working.Everytime I ask for prayers, she gains a few more ounces and inches!

Meghan reads the Ireland magazine.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good-bye Summer!

The Lamb family had a great summer!

We played in the back yard

We danced

We had fun at the grocery store

We had picnics at the park

 We played baseball

We played at the park


 We did manual labor at Grandma and Grandpa's house

We took swimming lessons

 And watched swimming lessons

We had fun at the lake...

Calling minnows



Sleeping in the tent with cousins

...and Uncle Jason
 We celebrated Camille's birthday with a pirate party...
Pirate princess pinata

Treasure maps

Awesome and delicious pirate cake Aunt Bernadette made

We played

We put on our tutu's...

...and went to the Mall of America for Dora, ballet, and Toddler Tuesdays.

We stood in a long line for over an hour...

...Dora left just as we were to the front of the line to meet her.  :-(

We had fun in Fargo...
Puppet theatre my sister-in-law and I made.

The girls made puppets of themselves.  Camille on the left, Meghan on the right.
Behind-the-scenes show

I made a lion.
 We enjoyed the mosquito-free lake again in August...
We made great memories with our cousins.

We watched a movie on the big screen by the lake.

Three of the five cutest girls on Earth.

Camille took to the waterskis

We said good-bye on Summer Hill

We stuffed ourselves with Plum Dumplings

We relaxed in the back yard in Fargo

We went to the Minnesota State Fair...

...and wore silly hats

...and watched the Dairy princesses being carved in butter.

...and we wore more silly hats

...we ate everything "on a stick", including Summit Sampler on a stick

Good bye summer, hello Fall!