Saturday, December 19, 2009


December 4
~A day I'll never forget ~
The boys and I were having a typical day. We bundled up to walk to Miss Jaime's house to pick up our prints from our family photo shot two weeks prior, we played around the house, William had plenty of cranky moments and refused to sleep all morning, we started decorating the tree in the family room and had a picnic lunch while watching an episode of Special Agent OSO.
A little after 1:00, I had just told Nicholas it was time to head upstairs for naptime when the phone rang. To my surprise, it was Dr. Remillard, the pediatrician. He explained he had just talked to Dr. Shaeffer who had gotten back some of William's labs. His blood proteins were dangerously low and Dr. Remillard wanted to see him in his office. As the doctor was saying this, it didn't occur to me he wanted us there immediately. I started thinking how I'd pull off getting to the office and who would watch Nicholas. Little did I know the doctor wanted us there right away.
Once at the office, William was happy and belly laughing with the antics of his brother and Daddy.

To our surprise, we left the doctor's office to be admitted to Golisano Children's Hospital. We were expecting that an admission will further expedite the process of pin pointing William's food allergies...

Just Playing

December 4th
~life before everything changed ~

Thank God for Dr. Shaeffer

December 3, 2009
A few weeks previously, and very fed-up with the lack of concrete answers I was getting from the pediatric gastroenterologist, I called Dr. Sotomayor's office to make an allergy appointment for William. I remember the day specifically. I had a screaming, inconsolable William on my hip and very little left in me to try to appease him. We had just gotten our new 2010 insurance cards in the mail and I just stared at the line, "no referral necessary." Although the pediatrician was ensuring me William was too young for allergy testing and his "allergy" needs would be adequately monitored by the gastroenterologist, I felt the need to call the office and make sure this was the case. The secretary I spoke to on the phone said William could be seen by their office, no matter his age. The only problem, their first available appointment was on Dec. 24th. Although it was not what I was expecting to do on that day at 9:30am, I accepted the appointment and then slowly broke-down to the woman as I asked, "do you happen to have a cancellation list....I have a very sick 6 month old who I'm desperate to be seen."
To my surprise, I got a call the following day offering a December 3rd appointment, for which I couldn't accept fast enough.
Grammy shared my concerns for William and took the afternoon off to join us at the appointment. Dr. Shaeffer entered the room and very shortly after said, "this kid does not just have food allergies." She was concerned with William's pallor color appearance and his significant swelling. Dr. Shaeffer promptly called the pediatrician and together they compiled an extensive list of blood work to order, as well as a chest x-ray.
As Dr. Shaeffer left the room, William immediately lit up and started kissing me profusely. Both Grammy and I felt as though he knew his needs were heard...finally....

After the appointment, we went directly to have the labs drawn and the x-ray completed. If you've never had to have your baby go through a chest x-ray, be thankful. They placed him in a very archaic tube contraption that held his arms over his head. Poor William screamed his head off, while I couldn't stop laughing. After months of William crying for what seemed to be no reason, I kept telling him, "finally, this is a reason to cry, William."

Seriously, I think everyone in the imaging center thought I was legitimately crazy...

The Notorious Bottle

William's gastroenterologist who diagnosed him with food allergies prescribed a special formula, Elecare. After having terrible diarrhea for days, the specialist told me to give him the Elecare with 3 tablespoons of rice cereal mixed in. When taking this picture, we were all excited he was accepting the terrible tasting formula for the first time, even holding it himself.
Last, we dubbed this shot, "the $140 bottle that constipated William."

Yes, all the rice cereal constipated him terribly and now we have 4 cans of specialty formula that we can no longer use.

Enjoying the Weather

December 2
Gotta get outside to enjoy the nice weather...

Letter to Santa

December 2
Nicholas was psyched to start his Christmas wish list to Santa. He was especially excited to get to use scissors and glue all by himself.

Top on the list of this 3 year old's list:

RoboRover ("the yellow robot with a remote control"), an Easy Bake Oven ("oooo, a little oven for me and Mommy!"), Nerf Vulcan Blaster, a Razor motorcycle, Fischer Price Smart Cycle ("a video game I want to ride on...") and a Dippin' Dots Ice Cream set.

Nicholas explained to me he needed to take my picture to show Santa that I've been a good girl too.

Boys & Lights

William discovered the fun of lights for the first time.

Between Nicholas crawling under the tree to hide, fluffing the tree with his mittens on and William playing with the string of lights, the boys were entertained all evening.

The day that scared us

December 1, 2009

William woke this morning with significant swelling around his eyes.

By late afternoon (and Mommy calling 3 doctors, none of whom wanted to see William in person), there was still considerable swelling.

Coincidentally, December 1st was the day I was scheduled to return to work. I was at my wits end with William's obscure symptoms and no attention from the pediatricians, I had to call my own Mommy to come over for support - thanks Grammy!

Homework Time for the Big Boys

Daddy's major: Computer Information Systems
Nicholas' major: Engineering Curious George's antics with a minor in button pressing

Smiles through it all...

November 30, 2009
William has clearly not been feeling well, due to suspected food allergies. After a particularly difficult day, he enjoyed playing Nicholas & Daddy's original game, "Extreme Closeup."

Tree Decorating 2009

November 28, 2009
The memory tree goes up. Nicholas is in his glory from setting up the tree through the last ornament placed.

The horns have spent little time hanging on the tree. Nicholas keeps them in a treasured spot on the window sills for what he calls "music making time."

December 4th

After realizing our large tree's pre-lit strands were about half out, our decorating was on hold for nearly a week...every minute with Nicholas begging when we were going to "hang the shiny balls." On a quiet Friday morning, we started decorating. Nicholas seemed to prioritize his efforts on one particular part of the tree...

the back.

My Little Butterballs

November 28, 2009
After William had a massive poop explosion in his Thanksgiving outfit within minutes of putting it on the day of, we needed a re-do photo op.

Brotherly love

November 28, 2009
When Nicholas is "helping" do the dishes, there is always a small flood involved. William sure appreciated the mess...

he kicked his feet in the bubbles forever!

Nicholas just adores his brother. He's so cute when he jumps to help set up a play spot for William.

Our Quiet Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009
This year we ended up forgoing the big family Thanksgiving get-togethers and celebrated with the four of us to "enjoy" a milk, egg, soy and gluten-free meal.
We learned those are all necessary ingredients for the traditional yumminess expected of the day and that a beautiful golden-browned turkey is not necessarily cooked all the way through.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the first tree goes up...

Grammy brought Nicholas over a special treat - his own tree for his bedroom!

Nicholas just loves his tree and surprisingly has been wonderful about not touching it or unplugging it when he's supposed to be sleeping. I chuckle to myself everytime I see the big glow coming from under his doorway at night.

A long awaited smile from William gives his seal of approval!

Grammy, thanks for watching Nicholas during William's appointment - your help is always greatly appreciated!

Lights on the Lake

With relatively "nice" weather of mid 40's, we bundled up to walk through the speak preview of Lights on the Lake. Nicholas was on his best behavior waiting for this event - you know this boy and lights!

We figured Nicholas would need to keep walking to stay warm, so we forewent bringing the double stroller to keep William snugly in his carseat. Nicholas loved hitchin' a ride on the stroller...

and up on Daddy!

I'd say William stayed nice and bundled! It was extra nice that he slept the entire time too!

Happy Birthday Boys...

Sunday we celebrated Poppie's 54th birthday and William's half-birthday!
Just in case Poppie's old lungs couldn't handle the creative math candle arrangement, Nicholas was right there to help blow/spit/drool...whatever was necessary!

Poppie, you sure are special to us. Nicholas just adores you and gets so excited when we are able to get together. We love you and wish you a fabulous year ahead...and many more to come.

(and yes, William is still swaddled for sleep - its so funny to see him all bundled up)

A Special Show & Share

As part of family month, Nicholas had to bring in an item belonging to Mommy or Daddy to share. When I asked him what he wanted to bring, he thought for a second and replied, "Daddy's snowblower!" After getting his bubble burst on that one, his second runner up was "Daddy's tools." Daddy shared a wrench, to which Nicholas also insisted on bringing his two wrenches. Let me tell ya, there was a whole lot of enthusiasm to get to school this day...

When I picked him up, Nicholas told me he needed to go to the playground and fix the playset with the wrenches.

He came up with his elaborate pretend fixing plan and even attached his plastic adjustable wrenches onto the playset and carefully balanced Daddy's...can you find them?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Knack

According to Daddy, this is our future with a certain someone...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"MY Fort!"

We went to a playgroup where the kiddos got their own moving box fort. Nicholas couldn't wait to get it home and has been in it ever since (no exaggerating!). He was most upset his artwork was not showing up on it. With Daddy at night class, we figured we'd make a big old mess and paint his box.

Let's just say this was still at the neater part of the project. Nicholas was covered and fortunately so was the box in the end. He has thoroughly enjoyed making decorations and coloring on his box since.

Morning at the Park

November 18th
Another gorgeous day to be outside! We had some errands to do across town, so we hit up a different playground and park.

Nicholas did a little jig on the "stage."

He had quite the successful duck call at the pond...