Our Family

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Joshua's Therapy

Joshua had his new therapist come to the house today. Ironically, we knew her before as she lives on the street behind us, and is very good friends with some good friends of ours, the Deludes, (aka: a Ruffing)

Her name is Jen, and Josh clicked with her right away. In watching the way he was interacting I began to notice something. He had changed in the two weeks since he'd seen the other therapist. Jen hadn't seen Josh before, but from reading through his info. made note of the change as well. His vestibular motor problems seemed to have "caught up" to where he should be for his age. I told her we had been doing more "work" with him with regards to getting him on the swing outside, using the trampoline inside, and giving him some time in the kidney bean box we have in our living room. Mike has also been doing more physical rough housing with Josh like putting him up in the air, and swinging him around...a reason why Mike himself is probably still in PT! :)

Jen also told us that it could account for his more aggressive, and temperamental behaviors over the past few weeks. Sometimes when one area of a child's senses are changing and growing, other areas become "stressed", causing new behaviors that can be temporary...as long as we stay on top of it. Although it's been tough to go through, I was glad to hear of this possibility. He HAS been very aggressive. Bekah, Ethan and I have been taking the brunt of it...usually hitting, kicking, biting, and body slamming. Bekah is going to be a, (as a friend of mine put it), pretty little girl you don't want to mess with! :) Heheheh...watch out boys!

In the meantime we have some more tricks up our sleeves to help him with this growing adjustment that is going on in his body. We look forward to more whistles, blowing straws and flutes to help develop his lung strength and facial muscles, as well as more of the aggressive behavior as we try to help him through all this. At least for know, Jen feels fairly confident that we are looking at his issues being Sensory Integration in nature. We both feel that developmentally he will catch up quickly, which will help with regards to teaching him some coping skills for the sensory issues he does have. It does mean that come July 4th, when he turns 3, we will be looking for outside therapy's in the areas of OT and speech, but since those are services Ethan is already receiving, we hope to get Joshua in to see the same ones that see Ethan.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Amara Rose

I'd like to introduce my newest niece...Amara Rose Yvette Karlosky! She was born today at CMC, very quickly, at 1:11pm...only 41 minutes after Sherry's water broke!!! She weighs in at 7lbs. 4.5oz and is 19 1/2 inches long. She has long black hair...more than Rebekah does now!

Sherry was amazing. She's been in labor for several days, and at her appt. on Friday was told she was 2 1/2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. When she called me this morning I could tell from her voice that this was it. She came over with Jack and labored for a little while longer, but the contractions were coming fast and furious. I brought her over to CMC around 11am, where her friend Kathy met her, and Mark came from work about 20 min. later. I then made it back over there (after finding out that she was 6cm and 100% effaced), with a quick call to Mike to come home and take care of the kiddos. Good timing, I made it right around 12:30 as they were moving her back to the bed...and then she was here! It was amazing.

Welcome to the world little girl!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Past Few Days...

...have been very interesting!

My poor boy Ethan had a difficult week last week. I was on the phone with the docs. most of the week trying to figure out how to help him with his stomach pain and lack of BM's. We ended up having an x-ray of his abdomen done and found out that he was about 3/4 of the way constipated... right down into his rectum. (graphic I know...but it is what it is) So, we had a choice, enema or 2-3 days of increased dosage of his laxative. The enema would be quick and uncomfortable, the laxative would be slow, crampy, gassy, and uncomfortable. We bribed Ethan with a Popsicle and did the first of two enemas on Thursday. It didn't clear him out as much as we'd hoped, so the second enema came on Friday...that one worked...boy did it ever. Poor kid! On, Saturday night, he started eating again. So far we've had two good days of eating, but tonight we were back to belly pain, and no BM at all. Still waiting for the appt. for his endoscopy...needless to say I'm getting impatient.

During all of this, however, Ethan remains a trooper. Thursday was such a beautiful day, that following his enema, I put a diaper on him just in case, and we went outside to enjoy the sun. I was hoping that the running around would help the medicine along a bit.

It was Rebekah's first time outside using her new skill of walking. She took to it like she'd been doing it the whole time. In fact, she joined the boys in throwing, jumping into, and destroying my leaf pile. They were all absolutely filthy when it was time to go in, which was awesome.

On Friday, we had a field trip. The homeschooling group I am a part of does organized field trips here and there. This one was to The Butterfly Place down in Westford MA. Ethan was very excited as he is a big fan of a video we have by Max Lucado called Hermie. It's about a very common caterpillar that asks God why he isn't special like other caterpillars. God always tells Hermie that He isn't finished with him yet. It's a great story, and Ethan really likes it when Hermie becomes a beautiful butterfly. With that in mind, he couldn't wait to "meet" Hermie and his pal Wormie.

Until we got there...

I've never had Ethan listen to me so intently...don't touch anything and stay next to me...and HE DID! He was curiously afraid. He wanted to see and be near everything, but he was afraid of what would happen should a butterfly land on him. For those of you who've never been to such a place...it's an atrium filled with beautiful plants and flowers, and LOTS of butterflies flying around in every direction. It is truly an awesome sight. If you think Ethan was afraid, check out Joshua...sheer terror. I've never seen him so truly terrified. He doesn't like anything in his face, so for him the thought of one of those unpredictable flying "things" coming anywhere near him sent him into a panic. Thankfully, they have bench's in there to sit on, and because they are away from the main source of plants and flowers, the butterflies don't come over too much. Of course, who was the one kid they kept trying to land on...??? So, I just sat down and held his hand and rubbed his leg, and calmed down and did fine, unless one came to close. I couldn't take him out of the stroller while we are in there because they have strict rules about children under 3 being in a stroller at all times. Towards the end, both he and Ethan were doing better, but still wary of those beautiful, flying creatures.

Then you have Rebekah...pointing, laughing, and say "butta, butta, butta" every time one would get close to her. She loved it!

We had a picnic there afterwards, and then bought the kiddos their very own caterpillars to watch grow into beautiful butterfly's. They are these tiny little things, and require very little care. Every morning the boys look forward to saying hello to their new little creatures. Can you guess what they named them....???? That's right...Hermie and Wormie.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


It is with mixed emotion that I tell you my baby girl is growing up! She officially weaned herself a week ago today. All of my kids have weaned themselves...Ethan was the week of his first birthday, and Joshua was 11 mos. old. So, she did nurse the longest at a little over 15 mos. old. Still, it's bittersweet because although I won't miss the biting down when she was teething, or the waking in the middle of the night for a little "snack"...I will miss that closeness that comes with nursing. Yes, I know I have another one on the way, but each one has its own special way of nursing. Another milestone reached, and even more independence gained...by both of us! :)

This young man is proving to be our medical anomaly. Even Dr. Hofley has said that she wants to "get to the bottom of Ethan". We feel like it's all happening again, like it did two years ago. There was a period of about 3 weeks between waiting for the endoscopy and then waiting for the diagnosis, that were just hell. He wouldn't eat, drink, or sleep well. Now, he's doing it all again. It's like pulling teeth to get him to finish the smallest amount of food, or even to drink a little bit of water. We've even made sure to make his absolute favorites...tacos, chicken nuggets and french fries, omelets, but he just won't finish any of it. He wants to sleep, or lay down most of the day...but still has his spurts of energy. We've increased his Prevacid dose to see if it helps with the belly ache he complains about every time he sits down to a meal. We're just waiting on the phone call to tell us when his scope is scheduled so we can get on with some possible answers. Please pray for him, and us as we make our way through this...again!

And then there is Joshua! We are looking at his at-home therapy to start next week. We've been trying some of the suggestions made to us on how to "wake up" his mouth...and he will have none of it. We even purchased a John Deere cornstalk teether that vibrates when you bite down...another suggestion from the therapist...and he did it...once. He won't bite down on it again. He makes everyone else do it, but other than that, he's perfectly happy just playing with it. They also wanted us to do a hearing test to rule it out as a possibility for his speech delay...he passed it with flying colors. It was done yesterday at his pedi. office. Basically it's the same one they do on newborns. It just tells you whether or not any air is getting in and bouncing off the ear drum. If the child passes then you know that the canal is clear of fluid build up which can cause garbled hearing among other things. Other than that, Josh is his same ornery, noisy self that we know and love!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Head Spinning

The boys had their 3 month checkup with Dr. Hofley today. She is there GI doc, and has done weight and height checks on them for quite some time now. She has been an incredible source of information and support.

So, today, we received some awesome news...and some not so awesome news.

Joshua is officially thriving!! He gained a little over two pounds, and grew just about an inch!! He actually looks a little chubby! :) She said in the past three months he has flown up to the 5th% for weight, and overall is doing exceptionally well. It's safe to say that, from a GI point of view, Joshua is finally okay!! She still wants to check his weight every 3 months to make sure that this is a curve that he will still on...but yipppeee! He is also scheduled to have a bone density test done to make sure that during the time of any malabsorption he may have had, it hasn't effected his bone density. From our lecture on Friday night, we learned that it should be done 6-12 months after a gluten free diet has begun and health has returned.

The head spinning part, unfortunately, is with Ethan. He is officially "failure to thrive"...again! He hasn't gained even an ounce in the last 3 months, nor has he really grown in height. She is concerned because with Joshua responding so well to the diet changes, Ethan should have had even slight improvement over the last few months. Some recent studies have talked about the possibility of refractory Celiac Disease, as well as something we learned on Friday night which has to do with a bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Something else she has seen in children just like Ethan, is eczema up and down the lining of the esophagus, and digestive tract. Needless to say, all of this means Ethan needs another endoscopy. They want to see where the health of his intestines stands, as well as check out what kind of enzymes he has in his gut. In the meantime we are to put him on a probiotic, and use Duocal on everything he eats and drinks. He had some blood work today to check on the levels of the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, and E. What a trooper...he was excited to see the blood fill up the tubes...even if it meant a little pinch first! My brave little guy!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Belated of course. Being the excellent husband that I am I failed to do anything special for me wif of 7+ years. Once again when she said she did not want anything - I took her at her word. Silly husband, so I screwed it up. So here I am apologizing.

My lovely wife was 33 yesterday. A mother of 3 soon to be 4 as you probably figured out by the post below this one. She works tiredly (not so much tirelessly these days being preggers and all!) raising our kids. If any of you reading this knew me when I was that tender age of 5, just think of 2 of me running around. Plus a spectator egging them on. Our little sweet Rebekah is learning fast. She bring them to the doctors, play dates and home schools. Her days are busier than mine!

Through all of the chaos she still has time to run our Celiac support group plus a Bible Study. No wonder she sleeps in until 7:00 on the weekend!

She is an amazing mother, friend and wife! (and baby oven) So happy belated birthday sweetie!

Love ya!

In a Heartbeat

We heard it...the wonderfully rhythmic sound of the next little Ouellette's heart pounding frantically inside of me.

On Friday, I had my first midwife visit. I am 13 weeks today, and they usually don't need to see you until the end of your first trimester, beginning of your second. With the last three pregnancies I have been in for an early ultrasound, or blood work or checkup of some sort since my miscarriage in 2004. I'm pretty sure I waited this long with Ethan, but that was sooo long ago, I honestly don't remember. So, it was nice to finally be "seen" by the midwife and to hear that wonderful heartbeat.

Still, the moment was bittersweet as I hadn't realized I had been holding my breath over the past couple of weeks, until a good friend of mine found out she had miscarried her baby. It was then I realized what had been bothering me...the fear of miscarrying again. For all the joy that hearing that heartbeat brings, you can't imagine the sorrow and loss of not hearing that heartbeat, unless, like so many of my friends, you've been through it.

Take a moment and say a prayer for all of those tiny hearts that have begun to beat today, that they may continue to grow in health. But, please, take the time to say a prayer for all of those whose hearts stopped beating so soon.