Our Family

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

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And then there were five...

...Ouellette children that is! As most of you, we had our ultrasound this past Friday...and much to everyone's surprise, we discovered not one healthy baby boy, but two!

Here is the first little guy...the more cooperative baby. The tech was able to get every measurement she needed from him without much trouble. He even held up his little "XY" chromosome for her to see that he is most definitely a boy!

This beautiful baby boy, wasn't quite as cooperative. He kept squirming away whenever she tried to get a good picture of his heart. Fortunately, after much moving around on my part, she finally did...both hearts look great! The boys are measuring exactly the same and seem to be growing well, despite my supposed small size. :)
If you look closely you can see it really is two babies. One baby's head is down in the lower right corner, and his brother's head is located underneath his spine, more centered.

Despite our shock, we couldn't be more thrilled at the prospect of this new adventure. We have been blessed already with three wonderful children...our hearts are excited at receiving TWO more into our family.

Friday, May 16, 2008

See...I told ya!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good thing she's cute...

She is trouble...good thing she's cute! She is sneaky...good thing she's cute!
She has attitude...good thing she's cute!
This little girl keeps me on my toes...she is my daughter...and she IS so darn cute!!
(The latest fashion, worn by EVERY child in the house at different times throughout the day, is the blueberry hat that Bekah is sporting in the picture. Don't be surprised to see it in other pictures on other children!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ethan's Endoscopy

We were finally able to get Ethan's endoscopy scheduled and complete yesterday, (Monday)! He did great, and the procedure was very quick. Since we were the first ones scheduled for the day we were in and out and home by 8:45am!! After some much needed breakfast, Bekah and I decided it was girls nap time, so we laid down around 10:30 and woke at 1pm feeling famished!! :) (Everyone was up this morning at 5am...sharp) Those kids have parental radar, so if they notice one parent is not laying still in bed, it means it's time to get up and start the day...even at 5am!

Preliminary results show that, surprisingly, Ethan has a hiatal hernia. We have pictures, which are pretty cool, and they show the opening between his stomach and the end of his esophagus not fully closing due to the hernia, as well as redness and irritation from the acid reflux. Most kids this age are born with it...he certainly hasn't done any heavy lifting. It will, unfortunately, require more reflux meds. for 6-8 weeks to see if we can get rid of the irritation and acid. I don't know anymore about it yet, as she just came in and pointed out the hernia in the pictures. She was surprised to see that there as well, but it could be the explanation for the stomach pain every time he eats. He just isn't able to communicate this to us due to his other issues. We won't be changing his meds. until the biopsies from all of the other areas come back.

The good news is that his villi, which were flattened out due to the celiac disease, are long, tall and waving around fine in his intestinal tract. It means we've been very diligent with his diet and it shows in the healthy response from his gut. She still biopsied that area, as we are looking for other allergen culprits, as well as enzymes present in both the stomach and the intestine. Hopefully the results will be back by Friday!

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Butterfly Chronicles

As most of you know, from a previous post, we were foster parents to two caterpillars named Hermie and Wormie. Since our visit to the Butterfly Place on April 11th, our two caterpillars have gone through some amazing transformations. It was a wonderful way to combine science and nature for Ethan's homeschooling class as well.

Following are some pictures we took along the way, as well as a video at the end with the release of Hermie. Joshua was thrilled at seeing the butterfly "freak out" as I put it, inside the butterfly box when we took him outside into the sunshine. He was less than thrilled, however, when he realized we were actually going to open the box, and release this "deadly creature" into the world. You'll see what I mean on the video.

The other thing to point out is how Ethan hadn't connected the end of this journey with the fact that he would not see Hermie again. We had tried to explain this to him, but as it tends to go, experience is the best teacher. My heart broke for him, but it has been a great lesson to learn. Speaking of broken hearts, we were also able to learn another lesson...this one about death. Wormie didn't make it. He never formed his chrysalis correctly, and when he tried to emerge from it, his wings hadn't fully formed. He died the next day, as he was unable to fly. Very sad, and of course traumatic to a 5 yr.old as he tries to wrap his mind around the finality of it all.

In any case, I hope you enjoy the following pictures and video. We had a great time.
This was the day we brought them home. They were soooo tiny, we had a difficult time photographing them because the flash would bounce off the plastic vile. I'm not sure what kind of food was at the bottom of that container, but it served as their nourishment for the entire time we had them. We didn't need to open it, or pop holes in the top, it was a self contained environment for them.
At the end of the first week, they had more than doubled in size. (I wonder if that food is gluten free, maybe I could feed some of it to my kiddos!) They have a lot of webbing inside the container, and they constantly "shed" their outer layer as they get bigger.
Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of them at the end of the 2nd week, (which would have been on a Friday), and by the time we got around to taking the picture, (on that Sunday) Hermie and Wormie had decided to move on to the next phase of their lives. They were so big as caterpillars, they filled out most of the container. Simply amazing, that they were able to squish their chubby bodies into these tiny little things. If you look closely, the one on the right is Wormie. he never really finished doing his chrysalis.
Here is Hermie, a week later, freshly emerged from his chrysalis. We couldn't appreciate the beauty of his color as this point, as he was still drying and recuperating after the ordeal of emerging from that tiny home of his. We had to place a cotton ball soaked in a mixture of sugar and water 1:10 ratio. At one point, I checked on him and like he knew what he was supposed to do, he was sitting on top of the cotton ball with his tongue inside drinking up the sugar water.
It took him about two days to dry out and gain some strength. We knew he was ready when he began to "freak out" inside of this box. Ethan loved the term, and now uses it constantly. Anyhow, Hermie didn't really freak out until we brought him outside into the bright sunshine. His instincts told him this was what he wanted, and boy did he want out! I was surprised that I actually got this shot of him, because for the most part, he wouldn't stop fluttering around long enough to see the beautiful colors on those wings.