Feeds:
Posts
Comments

How I know he loves me

Being Valentine’s Day and all (Happy Valentine’s Day by the way!), I thought I’d document how I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my husband, Jeff, loves me.

  • It isn’t the fact that he proposed.
  • It isn’t that he said “I Do” 6 1/2 years ago.
  • It isn’t that he gave me 4 sons.  (4!  All boys!  Inconceivable!)
  • It isn’t that he’s supportive of me staying at home instead of working.

I know he loves me because of the house we live in.  

I’ve written before about the house we’re in. My husband and I were not looking to move.  We had been married almost 5 years and had already moved 3 times, thinking we were in the house we’d live in until our kids were grown and gone.  I had a 2 month old.  And a 1 1/2 year old.  And a 3 year old.

And the fort that’s in our backyard.

See, all last summer – for SEVERAL weekends, he built me a fort.  A gigantic one.  The platform is 7 feet in the air.  The roof is 7 feet above that, so that a grown man can stand up in it with no problem.  The platform is “L” shaped – the longest side is 12 feet long and the shortest side is 6 feet.  It’s LONG and TALL.

We have plans to add onto it in the future – a bucket and pulley system.  A climbing rock wall maybe.  But the bulk of it is done.

This isn’t the case where my husband is a builder by day and thus, had to build on the weekends too.  Oh no. He’s an Electrical Engineer by training (now in management).  This was not in his wheel house.  This is not something he would’ve chosen to do.  He enlisted help from his father, but he easily spent 100+ hours building this thing.  And way more money than we thought!

And it’s because he loves me that he did this.  If it was just love for his kids, he would’ve just bought a swingset (and saved lots of time and money!).  But because he loves me, Jayme, he built this.  The custom fort that I wanted.  The fort that I hope our children love for years.  The fort that they’ve already eaten lunch in many, many days last summer and fall. The fort that they can play board games on when they’re in Elementary school.  The fort that I hope they have sleepovers on when they’re in Jr. High. It’s just awesome and I love it.  And I love him!

finished_fort

 

 

Ben: No Helmet Needed!

Summary: Ben doesn’t need to wear a helmet!
Details:
We must have something going on in our genes.

Son #1 (Finn) had surgery for craniosyntosis when he was 1.  It’s a condition where the skull fuses too soon and growth is restricted.

Son #2 (Stephen) We had no concerns with his head.

Son #3 (Sam) is still being evaluated for possible craniosyntosis and/or abnormal head shape.  Follow up appointment this summer still.

Son #4 (Ben) was evaluated today.  We knew he didn’t have full-blown craniosyntosis due to head CT scans last fall; his skull hadn’t fused yet.  But our pediatrician was still concerned about his head shape.  So, off to the Helmet Clinic to be evaluated.  That was today.

A Physical Therapist evaluated him first and she had no concerns at all.  She was looking to see if he was (in general) meeting his milestones – particularly around head & body movement – things his head and neck muscles would influence.  He’s meeting them (even crawling and quite mobile).

Then the Surgeon came in with 2 of the nurses to evaluate him.  They looked at his head shape and reviewed the CT Scan.  He had no concerns at all.  Ben doesn’t have a flat spot on the back of his head (which could be fixed by a helmet).  Ben doesn’t have an irregular forehead where one side would protrude farther than the other (which could also be helped by a helmet).

Ben’s head shape is symmetrical – it’s just really long.  You can measure it and it’d still measure just as “long” as any other baby’s.  But it’s shaped like a football instead of more like a basketball.  Long instead of round. It isn’t distracting or anything.  We all feel that as he gets older, it’ll get even milder.  Let him grow some hair.  Let the hair get darker and you probably won’t even notice it. No helmet for him!

ben7-5months

 

 

 

Ben: 7 months old!

Ben’s 7 months old!

His scrapbook page:

ben_month7

A recent photo:

ben_7months

I’m reconfirming my choice to stay at home.  Here’s how it all went down:

Mid-December, I got an email from a company:

“Dear Jayme…in looking at your profile on LinkedIn, you seem really cool with mad skillz that we’d like to have at our company.  Do we have what it takes to make you look at us?”

My reply:

“Dear company…you seem cool.  I’ve heard good things about you.  And you’re right – I am awesomeness.  The total package.  But I love my life and would only want to work part-time.  Thanks for thinking of me.”

Their reply:

“Hey, part-time could work.  We’d do whatever it takes to make you love us.  Come on in.”

So I did.  Did an interview.  They loved me.  A couple of weeks later, they asked for another interview, with the owners of the company (it’s a small company).  So I went. It went down like this:

Them: “Hey Jayme…you ARE awesome.  We could totally make part-time work.  But I don’t think you’d accept the position that we had posted, amiright?”

 Me: “Yeah, you’re right. You’re a great company.  It’s a good position.  It’s just not where I want to go.”

Them: “We have many needs. Would you rather do position A?  Or position B?  Or position C?  How about we set you up with an interview of some others that work here so you can see how cool we really are?”

Me: “Okay, those jobs sound cool.”

Them: “By the way, how much are you looking to make?”

Me: [tells them what I used to make, clarifying that I had been full-time]

Them: “Great.  Well, expect an email from us!”

The next day I thought more about it.  It IS a great company.  The potential positions seemed good.  The timing for my family was just horrible.  I just wasn’t excited. Don’t get me wrong: I was excited about being wanted.  About being told that I got skillz.  That’s really nice.  But, I decided that, if offered, the soonest I’d start would be June.  I wasn’t out looking.  I don’t need to work.  I had been hoping that I wouldn’t really like the position or the pay (so that it’d be an easy decision).  Jeff was supportive of it, but wasn’t excited about it.  The timing was horrible.

But instead of the email for another interview, I got a “Thanks, but no thanks” email.  It flabbergasted me.  I imagine it was about money since things were good until then.  But who knows?  Maybe I’m bad at reading people.

Either way, it was a RELIEF.  I was relieved that I didn’t have to make a Yes/No decision.  I don’t know that I’ll be a Stay At Home Mom forever, but, at least for now, it’s what I want.

Lesson learned.  Decision reconfirmed.

And the results are in on Finn’s food allergy/sensitivity testing.  (In case you’re wondering, we did an Organic Acids and IgG testing from Great Plains Laboratory on Finn a few weeks ago.)

The results?

  • He has a pretty decent bacteria problem in his digestive system.
  • He also has a little bit of a yeast problem in his system too.
  • He has a moderate sensitivity to egg whites.
  • He has a low sensitivity to: casein, whey, egg yolk, cow’s milk, cod fish, cashews and yogurt.

Some of those things are related like casein is the protein found in cow’s milk and yogurt.  And egg whites and egg yolks can never really be completely separated.

finnnovember2016

So…what does this all mean?  The answer has 3 parts:

#1: Remove the irritants from the system:

We’ll be removing more things from his diet.  Namely, eggs and casein products (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream).  We’ve already been gluten-free for a month as well as having eliminated food dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives and a lot of fruits & veggies that have salicylates in them.  Those things (well, not the gluten free) is the basic tenet of the Feingold Diet that we’ve been on since end of October.

#2 Add good stuff back into his diet:

His behavior has been much better (by that I mean a lack of big meltdowns and outburts and he shows more impulse control), we’ll be able to start adding in some things that we originally took out.  Hello tomatoes!  Hello cucumbers and pickles!  Hello bell peppers!  Hello berries!

It’ll be a long process though.  Since his tests came back all clean for those items, we feel good about re-introducing them.  BUT…we still want to re-introduce them one at a time just in case there is a reaction that wasn’t caught on the tests.  And it can take up to 4 days before you see a reaction from a food.  It’s not like his hair will automatically turn purple once a tomato hits his lip.  Instead, the food will get into his digestive system and his body will start to react to it over the next couple of days.  A bad day on Wednesday could have easily been caused by something eaten on Monday.

Our doctor actually recommends waiting a week between introducing new foods.  We’ll see how it goes, but whether it’s 4 or 7 days, it’s gonna be a while before we have a bunch of new foods into our life.

Tomatoes are first though.  Pizza! (Though, no cheese sadly.)  Sloppy joes!  Salsa!  BBQ!  Spaghetti!

#3 Fight the bacteria!

Probiotics to the rescue!  A heavy dose.  A really heavy dose.  Our goal is 50 billion cultures a day.  Yes, 5-0.  Yes, billion with a b.  I was shocked when our doctor recommended it.  But we won’t get there all at once.  We started mid-last week and my goal is to be at 50 by the end of this week – assuming he continues to tolerate it.  We’ll likely stay at 50 billion for a month or so, then back it down to a maintenance kind of dose.

We’ve decided to hold off on treating the yeast problem.  It wasn’t that severe and you can really only medically treat it with an anti-fungal, which isn’t too kid friendly.  So we’ll limit his sugar intake and hope the yeast dies off as the gut gets stronger.

Is this permanent?

I hope not.  For 6 months we’re going to:

  • Do the milk-free and egg-free life.
  • Limit sugar as much as reasonable.
  • Treat heavily with probiotics, then continue a maintenance dose.
  • Continue with the chiropractic care (I don’t think that will be for 6 more months – just a couple heavy-duty).
  • Treat him as if he has a leaky gut and add in fermented foods, switch to organic food as much as possible/reasonable/budget allowed, make our own bone broths, and changing to grass-fed beef.

Then in 6 months, we’ll test again and see what the results tell us!

 

December 2016

Okay, December 2016 isn’t officially over yet, but let’s pretend that nothing momentous is gonna happen in the next few days and this is a “good enough” recap.  I’m loving “good enough” these days!

Highlights:

  • Ben turned 6 months old!
  • We got our first snow — well, enough snow to play in without being enough snow to make the roads a mess.
  • Finn had his Christmas program at his preschool.
  • We had Christmas!
    • We had my sister’s side of the family over a couple of days before Christmas for a “Cousin Christmas”, having spent the morning at Bounce U and then we ate pizza and opened gifts that night.
    • We went to Jeff’s side of the family for Christmas day.  No snow at all!  Weather was rainy in fact.  Not very cold, but windy.
    • The most fought over gift was Stephen’s new toothbrush.  Who knew?!
    • Big highlights: Finn got a real bike (with training wheels).  Stephen got a balance bike.  All the boys got a bounce house/inflatable.
  • Finn’s diet changes & chiropractor treatments are going really, really well.  More about that later, but I’m very happy with some of the differences we’re seeing.  Definitely not out of the woods yet, but major progress is being made.
  • Almost all of us got a cold or something.  Ben had it the worst; his cough lasted for a couple of weeks and really messed with his sleeping schedule.
  • We spent a lot of time in our pajamas – with sickness, days off school, no places to go.  So nice!
  • Jeff had several days off towards the end of the month.  A full day off here.  A half day off there.  It was nice!  We even got in a couple of afternoon movie dates!
  • We had some financial setbacks:
    • Our clothes washer died.
    • Our furnace got “twitchy” and needed some TLC.
    • The check engine light went on for the van.  $1200 later…

Some pictures:

december2016december2016v2

Ben – 6 months old!

Baby Ben is 6 months old!  (Well, he will be tomorrow.)  He is not a great napper, but is usually in a great mood, so I won’t complain about that.  This was a rough month for him as he developed a cold with a bad cough for a couple of weeks – that threw him off his routine!  But he’s on the mend and the cough is on its way out.  Just in time for Christmas – which is awesome!

His scrapbook page:

month6

A recent picture:

ben6months