Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Several of Edward's biggest fans got to see him in person this weekend when he and I went to Evanston. But for the rest of the blogosphere, we apologize for the lag since the last post. It's been a busy time. Spring arrived while we were gone and by last night when John got home from work it was actually shorts weather. (Living in a college town you tend to get a skewed view of this since the college kids pull out the shorts and flip flops as soon as the mercury rises above freezing.) It was almost 80 yesterday and Sunday with breezes and sunshine. So refreshing to get outside. John got home early (still recovering from his weekend Ed withdrawal) so he and Ed went for a walk while I made an early dinner before my class. They made it about half way around the block, but since Edward needed to stop and explore every set of steps along the way it was slow going.

That's what he learned at Gram and PopPop's over the weekend--steps! He could go up pretty well, based on his experiences at the park and on the daycare playground. But he needed a little coaching on how to go down and he had the best available teachers plus a pretty rockin' staircase. His own house is woefully lacking in stairs, except for a few outside. He does have a ramp outside (remnant of the former owner of this house, a senior citizen; we thought we'd get rid of it when we bought this house five years ago, but we took one off and it was such an enormous pain that we decided we could live with the other one!) He likes to crawl up and down, but it makes us nervous because the sides are wide open. It's not high, but still, we'd rather not have him tumble, so we walk practically on top of him as he makes his way. John also noticed that there were some nails that needed a few extra whacks with a hammer to make them flush with the wood. So he took care of this while Ed and I explored other parts of the yard. Then Ed found the hammer when we came back and thought he'd help.

Note the outfit, complete with sandals (we don't think "mandals" is appropriate terminology for such tiny footwear, Joe.) The benefits of having a cousin nine months older who lives in Arizona!

Later, after a chili dinner that sent his pants straight to the washing machine, Ed was lounging in his t-shirt when he thought that a puzzle piece would make an excellent dessert. I believe there was also an NCAA tournament game on the TV that he found quite captivating.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Oh yeah, apple juice in the sippy cup.
That's the good stuff!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The fever returned today so we took ourselves back to the doctor, where the verdict is...drum roll please...


Not that it's cause for celebration, but at least is a more concrete explanation for why our rambunctious one-year-old has been alternating between three-hour-naps and flopping listlessly on any available parent for three days. John got the antibiotics home in time for a dose before bed. (Edward's bedtime, that is. John only wishes he went to bed at 6:40 tonight after a 4 a.m. playdate with Edward today.) We're hoping for some overnight magic, although today's fever (101 at 1 p.m.) means he still can't go back to daycare tomorrow.

Interesting note: Edward is such a little porker (24 lbs. at Monday's weigh-in, fully clothed, no shoes) that it takes two bottles to supply enough amoxicillin for 10 days--9ml twice a day. Or maybe they were just out of the big bottles at the pharmacy. Either way, it was interesting to get the official weight. Just recently people have been asking how much he weighs and we've only ventured our best guess. He'd been a steady 22 lbs. for several doctor visits in a row so we weren't sure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Edward had a great weekend, visiting Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa on Saturday, where he found a new table to play under, and walking up and down the block with his walker Sunday as the temperatures climbed to late-spring levels.

But now he's been sick with a fever for two days, and I think we're both exhausted by this virus! It started Monday morning at a very low grade (about 99) and we thought it was teething because he'd spent the weekend with his fingers in his mouth. But after only half an hour at work the daycare called to say it was 100.2 and that he only wanted to be held, not play or eat, so I went to pick him up. He took a nap for two hours and when he woke up it was up over 101 so I called the doctor and they said he should be seen, given that he'd had a runny nose and cough recently. Ear check!

When we got there around 2 the fever was up to 102, despite two doses of Tylenol. They said his ears were not the problem and his breathing sounded fine too. They did a CBC in the lab and the results indicated a virus so we were to go home, continue alternating doses of Motrin and Tylenol and push fluids. Easier said than done on the fluids! When he doesn't want to drink, he pushes the cup away no matter how we try to cajole him. Overnight we gave him Tylenol again at about 4:30, but otherwise he slept fine until about 7, when his fever was down again around 100. He has to be fever free for 24 hours before he can go back to daycare so I stayed home with him again.

He took another long morning nap and actually felt cool for the first time when he woke up. His temp was only 96.5! I wondered if such a large swing was normal, but a quick call to the doctor calmed my fears. The nurse who called back said it's not only normal, but a good sign and that the worst should be over. We took a walk with the stroller to enjoy our first 75-degree day of spring (!) and stopped in the park for a few trips down the slide on the way home. He seemed fine, but was getting tired so a quick snack and then another nap when we got home. He was warm again when he woke up with his temp back up to 101. So I guess it's not over and he can't go to daycare again tomorrow. Ugh! He wasn't interested in any of the drinks we offered, but did eat a whole container of yogurt and some jell-O, and has had wet diapers all day, so I guess he's staying hydrated.

It's so sad to see his sick eyes and know he doesn't feel well and doesn't understand why. He is getting lots of cuddle time and even some TV, which is usually a rare event. He seems to like Thomas the Train on PBS and it's nice that it's broken into 10-minute segments because that's about all he can sit still for. There's an engine named Edward on the show, but we haven't see him yet (only heard his name in the theme song.) Since it takes three sittings to get through an episode, we haven't seen very much so far.

He has had some playtime though and one of his new favorites is a Yankees bat and ball from Grandpa Kenyon. (Warning to Geraghty Cubs fans--the American League indoctrination has begun!) Also, with the warm weather we had to bust out the short-sleeve shirts, including this Kenyon College t-shirt, a gift from friends. This will be a short-lived wardrobe shift though as we're headed back to the 40s by week's end. Let's hope the cold will kill off the remaining germs so we're ready for St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Team Kenyon will be back in action April 21 for the annual Iowa City WalkAmerica event for the March of Dimes. This event raises both awareness and funds for the fight against prematurity, which has touched our family so deeply. We're proud to walk each year in memory of Will and in honor of Edward and we'd love to have as many people join us as possible. Last year a core group of dedicated friends and family walked through a steady drizzle and raised more than $1,000. We and the March of Dimes appreciate whatever support you can offer, whether physical (by walking with us or in your own hometown), financial (by making an online pledge toward our fundraising goal) or moral (by encouraging us to get up and get moving in preparation for the 10K walk.) Clicking on the Team Kenyon link above will take you to my fundraising page where, if you scroll to the bottom, you'll find links to donate and/or to register to walk with us or in your local WalkAmerica event.

Edward is already in training, though I'm not sure he'll be up for the full 10K on foot, especially if we have any hope of finishing. We might have him carry our water bottles though. His new thing is that he likes to hold something in his hands while he walks. Here it's a blanket.

Often it's a shoe or a puzzle piece. The other day he was carrying a large stuffed snowman by the carrot-shaped nose and then figured out he could have his hands free for waving if he carried it by the nose in his teeth. (Oh, by the way, we forgot to note here that he got two more upper teeth last week.) This week I would say that Edward is definitely an independent walker. He doesn't need one of us coaxing him forward and waiting to catch him. He'll let go and head in any direction he wants. He doesn't go too far before he looks for a hand hold, if only to steady himself for the next segment of the journey. Pretty good timing on this milestone. I'm sure the living room soon won't be big enough for his mobility so we'll head outdoors, where we're definitely on the upswing toward spring.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Edward is a champion sleeper. I think I've said in previous posts that at his daycare, nap time starts around 11:30 or 11:45. Since I pick him up shortly after noon, he tries to wait until he gets home for his nap, playing in a different part of the room away from where the others are sleeping. Sometimes, like today, he just doesn't make it. When I picked him up his teacher said he'd been playing at a low shelf with toys and she suddenly realized that she wasn't hearing him anymore. She looked over and he was asleep with his head on the shelf, still kneeling in front of it. So she picked him up and held him until I got there. Then I took him, put his jacket on, carried him out to the car, buckled him in his seat, drove home, unbuckled him from the seat, carried him in, put him in the crib, and took off his jacket, all while he slept. A couple of times he kind of rolled his head around and peeked, but he basically stayed asleep through all that. Amazing!

I suppose he comes by it naturally though. John's parents are still amazed that they used to have to wake him up on Christmas morning when he wanted to keep sleeping. He says, "Well, I knew the presents would still be there!" There are many family stories about my childhood sleeping habits, including falling asleep behind the living room curtains, sleeping on the couch while my brother and a friend jumped on it, and only making it halfway up the stairs before falling asleep on the landing.

Sorry for a post with no photo. After all he went through, I thought it would be too mean to add a camera flash to his nap interruption!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

If we used the "title" feature on this blog program, this post could correctly be titled "avoidance" but for whatever reason (expediency?) we've always ignored that text box so you'll just have to imagine at the top of this post. Tomorrow is my accounting midterm, and I feel that by now my brain is full. Anything else I try to cram in will only result in something getting squeezed out, so I'm going to just go with what I know and hope it will be enough. Just to be safe, any of you who happen to be "numbers people" (and you know who you are!) please send some of your karma my way around 6 p.m. tomorrow!

Edward took some long naps this weekend, which meant some solid afternoon study time. He was worn out from entertaining us, and also because he has another cold. Ugh. One more reason I'll welcome spring with open arms whenever it decides to arrive (50s in the forecast this week--hooray!) He was also quite busy with one new toy and one new use of an old toy. His play tunnel arrived with blessed speed last week and was immediately opened and "set up" (that is, we pulled the velcro tabs and it sprang into full shape.) It's basically just a huge spring covered in tent fabric. He didn't know quite what to make of it at first, but when I got down at one end and called him, he figured out that he could crawl through to find me. Then I really blew his mind when I looked in through the "window" (a bit of mesh--the black part you can see in the photo) and when I scratched the top of his head through the fabric. He really liked that--especially the sound of scratching on the fabric, very swishy. It's a hit for sure, though it hasn't stopped the under-table adventures. I think he's kind of figuring out what we mean when we say "don't touch the cord" because sometimes he goes under the table and seems to be heading for the cord, but changes direction or just turns around to sit and observe the world from that vantage point. But I don't kid myself that this challenge is behind us. There are at least as many times when he totally ignores our instructions and heads straight for the cord with both hands.

His other toy adventure this week was figuring out how to dump his wagon full of blocks. Up to now he's been content to push it around or take the blocks out one at a time. I think the first dump was accidental, but then he realized how much fun it was and the wagon was never full again. Then he took it another step further and discovered that he could balance the handle against the basket in dump position and have a full-height push toy. He was extremely satisfied with himself pushing this all around the living room.

In addition to his cold, Edward's other current health news is low iron. He had some labs drawn at his 12-month appointment back in early January and they showed his hemoglobin just slightly lower than the desired range. The doctor sent us a letter explaining this along with a prescription for iron drops to be taken three times a day. We thought that since he was so close to the desired level we should try being more diligent about giving him his vitamin, which contains iron, and got the doctor's go-ahead to try this for a month and then repeat the labs. We haven't missed a vitamin dose since then, but his repeat labs showed the level hadn't increased enough, so now he's on the three-times-daily iron. Our doctor says this is not unusual for kids his age, since they are still working up to a well-rounded diet. That is certainly true in Edward's case. There are only a few things he'll eat consistently--fruit, yogurt, spaghetti, cheerios--and the rest it's anybody's guess as to whether he'll take it in or turn up his nose. Even something he previously ate and seemed to love can fall victim to his fickle palate. The beef stew that survived last weekend's power outage made three appearances (love the left-overs!) and was only enthusiastically received on the second go-round. He had his first Lenten fish on Friday (Van de Kamps) and loved it. Tonight when offered mashed potatoes and roast beef he would not open his mouth (I even tried putting ketchup on the roast beef--yar!) Instead he ate a squished cheese sandwich (what's this?). I made broccoli because every time they serve it at the daycare they report that he eats two or three helpings. But tonight, nothing. He did enjoy playing with it though--squishing the pieces and picking them apart. I know there's something about watching other kids eat that encourages him to eat more at daycare. We're also thinking that maybe his big meal of the day is lunch rather than dinner so we may adjust our weekend meal plans and see what happens. Ultimately though, we know he's not going hungry (!) so we'll just keep offering a variety, and he'll eat what he wants when he wants to. I feel my grandma's watchful eye when tossing the portion he rejects, but then I consider a recent University of Iowa study that showed parents have poor eating habits compared with childless adults, in part because parents eat their kids' leftovers or, more generally, eat the unhealthy items kids love like hot dogs and chicken nuggets. So it seems to be a choice between throwing it away or adding it to my own waistline. That's definitely a no-brainer!