Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Monday, February 19, 2007

Her Big Day...and we had cake!

Yes, it was Rebekah's big day. On Sunday we had our daughter Rebekah Simone Ouellette baptized at Ste. Marie's Parish in Manchester. It was a beautiful ceremony with the whole congregation, family and friends to celebrate.

Ethan was very excited because although he hasn't been a big fan of going to church and praying to God, (more like not enjoying the hour of having to sit still in one spot), he was looking forward to seeing his sister "bathtized" like his cousin Jack was a few weekends ago. I tried searching in vain for pictures of Ethan's baptism, unfortunately a lot of those things are still packed up from when we had the house on the market. He was confused as to why he couldn't be baptized again, and wanted Joshua to take a "bath" up there as well.

More importantly...in a 4 year olds world...there was cake. We have a friend from our church who is known as the Cake Lady. She has been making cakes out of her house for quite some time now. Before we started eating gluten free, she made Joshua's baptism cake, and we were blown away by not only the beauty of the cake, but the taste as well. Incredible! So, when we had a change in our diet, I was less than thrilled that we would have to find someone else to do it for us, or (gasp) do it myself! (For those of you who don't know, I love to bake and cook, but with everything else to do in prepartion for a party at one's own house, it's just easier to have one less thing to think about!) So, I talked to her about cross contamination etc. and told her what kind of cake mixes to use as well as discussed what goes into the frosting, and we've worked everything out. This cake was huge, four Namaste cake mixes, but knowing it wouldn't all get eaten, I was able to freeze a reasonable size of it for use at other parties. I am a planner by nature!:)

Throughout every part of the day...church...the drive to and from church...the whole morning prior to going to church after the cake was delivered...a frantic voice could be heard asking if it was time for cake yet. We have to give the kid credit, he did go through all the motions required of the big brother...

He sat for some really great pictures.

Then there was the party girl. It was tough to get her away from the protective older brother. He needed to know where she was at all times. Let me tell you, he didn't like to hear her cry. Every time she did, which was often, (hey you would too if you were wearing that beautiful yet itchy and hot gown) he would tell me it was time to change her into her princess dress.

The pink in the dress was so beautiful. I can truly appreciate this color now after having two rough and tumble boys. Plus, seeing her laying next to her "older" (by two months) cousing Jacob...aka Jack...I just can't get over how feminine and dainty she looks.

All in all it was such a beautiful day. Thank you to everyone who came to the church and back to our home later, to celebrate God's little blessing.

Rebekah, sweetheart, you are loved by so many friends and family members, but no one loves you more than Mommy, Daddy, and your two big brothers Ethan and Joshua. God Bless you little one.

Monday, February 05, 2007

BackTrack Part 2

So much to catch up, so little time. I feel like we've had so many balls up in the air, that for us to catch any one of them at anytime, would be beyond amazing.

To say that Ethan has had the works when it comes to doctor evaluations would be an understatement. Mike and I are beginning to feel like hyperchondriacs! It doesn't help either that we keep getting sent to see every kind of doctor under the sun. Good thing Ethan does so well with doctors. I think he may actually look forward to most of them. Espcially if it involves any kind of blood work. Mike went for bloodwork, and while sitting in daddy's lap became upset because he wasn't getting his blood work done...definitely not my child!!

Anyway, since December Ethan has been evaluated by Child Find (Manchester School District), a neurologist, (Dr. Woods), an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist, (Dr. Spector), an Opthamologist (Dr. Morse), his primary care pedi., (Dr. Neefe) and will be seeing an Audiologist at the end of February as well!

Let me see if I can shed some light on these visits.
We had him evaluated by Child Find to see if Ethan would qualify for a developmental preschool due to some of the behavioral, and delayed developmental issues he's been having. Long story short, they found him a delightful, intelligent, charismatic 4 year old who's learning hasn't been impeded by any kind of behavioral issues. Funny, that's not what a lot of the doctors have found, including Dr. Woods who determined that Ethan definitely had some delays that if corrected now, could help his development drastically change within the next two years! These delays include: adaptability, social/play skills, self-help skills and communication with same aged peers. She said that in the research she has been doing, his type of delays are secondary to Celiac Disease, and that it's been found that once these children have been gluten free for about two years, AND have some OT and other types of therapy in the interim, can become integrated into a regular school system, (or homeschooled).

So, we enrolled him at Our Lady of Mercy Applied Catholic Teaching Preschool. It is located in Merrimack so it will be a 20 minute drive in the morning. However, we only signed him up for the two day program. It starts in the autumn and will be on Tuesday and Thursday each week. Mike and I are very excited but very nervous about this for a couple of reasons. First of all we would very much like to homeschool, but at this time recognize the need for Ethan to be schooled in a public setting for now so that he can overcome some of these social development issues. We are nervous about this because Ethans issues include biting, hitting, spitting, etc. The last thing we want is for him to hurt other children or to have him kicked out of preschool because he is hurting the other children. He seemed to fall between the cracks, as far as we are concerned, through the school district, so that leaves us with trying to find a place for him that will help him develop socially. We pray that this school will be able to help him with this.

In the meantime, Ethan had his 4 year check up and with that came good news and not so good news. The good news, he's gained a total of 4 lbs over the course of a year. Hooray!! He is now 29 lbs.! Unbelievable. In actuality it has been more than that, because when he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease he was around the 24 lb mark and had lost 2 more pounds in the two weeks between his endoscopy and diagnosis. He grew a little bit in height as well, but not significant. The not so good news is that he failed his hearing and vision tests! In talking with his pedi. we also discussed having him evaluated by an ENT specialist for sleep apnea or other sleep related issues because Ethan has suddenly started napping for 2 hours during the day. We've noticed snoring, and more restlessness at night, so he's now scheduled for a sleep study in March. Upon xray they discovered that his adnoids are unusually large but not touching, so at this point they wouldn't recommend surgery to remove them. They will await the results of the sleep study first.

He also saw the opthamologist in Concord for his vision. We went to a specialist because I wear glasses and Mike had two eye surgeries before he was 5 years old. The pedi. just wanted to cover all the bases. (one of the reasons why I love her for my kids!) Upon walking in the exam room, Ethan took one look at the chair and for the first time ever said to the nurse, "Are you going to hurt me?" I was shocked. He's never shown any kind of sensitivity toward doctor's visits and usually looks forward to them. The only reason that I can think of as to why he said what he said is because at his pedi. appt. he had 3 immunizations and actually said "ow" when the last one was done. Hmmmm....pain threshold decreasing??
Anyway, come to find out he is extremely far sighted. I guess it's normal for kids to be farsighted, but Ethan is so extreme that they were surprised he wasn't crossed eyed yet. Typically kids will become cross eyed around 2 0r 3 yrs. old. So, for now we just keep an eye on him, (ha ha ha) to make sure he doesn't cross his eyes, and they will check him in 6 months. Most kids grow out of it. However, they checked my husband while we were in there, and he hasn't grown out of it yet, so we'll see. (oh those puns just keep coming!)

He has his audiologist appt. scheduled for the end of the month, so we'll have to get back to you on that one.

Wow, I think we are mostly caught up here. Unbelievable how much can happen in such a short period of time. At least we have come out on the otherside as a family who still loves each other and supports each other over every hurdle. God only gives us what he knows we can handle...