Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fever Update

I have spoken with our pediatrician twice since the earlier post. Apparently, the concern with chronic fever of unknown origin in heart babies is that they are vulnerable to infectious endocarditis. I checked Wren's temperature this afternoon and it was only 100.4 after the Tylenol wore off as a result the Ped did not order blood cultures.

If it is 103 or above overnight we are to take Wren to the Children's Outpatient clinic tomorrow.

She felt that unless the fever was higher it was unlikely to be "very concerning".

I am not really reassured. I am still concerned.

Fever goes on

I called the Heart Center Nurses Line to ask whether I could give Wren Motrin. I think it is better for inflammation like his huge erupting molar. Nurse Jennifer was a bit concerned when she heard he had had a fever of unknown origin for 3 days. She said she better "run it by Dr Lewin" to see what he thinks. She says the molar may, or may not, be causing it. I could have said that.

I feel quite frustrated because I have such a shoddy thermometer that I have no idea what his real temp is. They are more concerned if it is over 101.5. Well, I get about 100 underarm which is usually 1 degree more at the doctors using the in-the-ear one. I think we need a thermometer upgrade.

But wait, I don't have the car today. This always happens.

Idle Moments

Wren likes to:

- Unpack the cutlery from the dishwasher. He stands at the open door and pulls out spoons and knives and forks and sucks them and throws them on the floor with a shout.

- Suck on old hospital syringes (left over from the days he had lots of meds. No needles)

- Watch mobiles and fans going around.

- Grab fistfuls of cat fur attached to a cat.

- Eat what I am eating.

- Play what Frost is playing.

- Play the dropping things game while we go for walks in the stroller.

- Not have an intermittent fever of 101 for the third day.

Here is Wren playing xylophone yesterday.

video

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy 9 Monthday to Wren

Wren is 9 months old today. For his baby book I am going to try and describe what he does and what he likes.

Wren's Personality
Wren is a fairly solemn little guy who smiles and laughs with people he knows but takes a while to warm up to strangers. When he meets a new person he simply stares unabashedly for A-G-E-S without expression. Once he knows you he likes to play games and gets excited when you talk to him.

Wren has a strong sense of what he wants: if you take away a toy he shouts and cries and screws up his face. At Mom and Tot yoga he clung to his toy despite attempts by toddlers to pull it away from him.

Wren and Frost
He loves Frost and will crane and stare and smile and become animated when Frost returns home. When we return from our morning walk he stares still and intent at the door at the top of the stairs because Frost often opens it and says "Good Morning" if he has woken while we were out.

Frost loves Wren but tends to overwhelm Wren with hugs and tries to carry him around. to save him from perceived danger. Frost is very anxious about Wren putting things in his mouth and choking so he spends a lot of time shrieking warnings and carrying Wren or toys to keep them apart. Today he asked me "how big the pipe" was that Wren breathes through. He was worried he might choke on fennel flowers.

He plays with Wren, rolling the ball to him, and does "shows" for Wren in which he leaps and rolls and jumps on the bed while Wren hoots appreciation and is nearly flattened by crooked jumps.

For all his love, Frost finds Wren a bit of a bother at times - he now has to keep his bedroom door closed and misses the long uninterrupted games we used to play.

Moving
Wren can crawl very well. Although he seldom goes up stairs he can do it. He can slide off a bed backwards but has not learned to go "feet first" off high things. Instead he does head first plunges if he is not caught and rotated. I manage to catch him most of the time.

Wren likes to stand up. Whenever he comes to a vertical surface, even a smooth one, he leans his hands against it and stands up. Once up he thumps it with his hand. He likes to stand at the gates and look through, especially when the cats are visible in the back yard or are eating at their food bowls.

While crawling, he ducks his head down to crawl down under things. When the ground is rough - like cement or twigs, he lifts up his knees and does an army crawl across the uncomfortable terrain.

Wren is quite self reliant for a baby. He does not make a lot of noise unless he is sad or needs something. Usually he moves around the living room and kitchen touching things on the floor, picking them up and biting them. He likes to hold large things in his mouth while he crawls. Alternatively, he carries them around in one hand while he crawls.

He does not stand independently, yet, but has started to "hover" without holding on after he lets go something he pulled up on. He can do this for 3 or more seconds before sitting down. I am not encouraging him. When he has pulled up on something low, he "cruises" sideways along it until he reaches something else of interest.

Communicating
Wren does not say any words but he likes to copy noises and movements. One of his favorite games is shaking his head side to side. I do the same and say "no no no" and then nod and say "yes yes yes". He shakes his head back with a huge toothy smile of pleasure.

We also have click conversations. He starts clicking his tongue then stops and looks at me. I click my tongue. He clicks and watches me. I watch him and click. We are both smiling.

The closest he comes to a word is saying a rough SHHHSHSH when I say "fishies". He has done this a few times and I think he gets the idea of saying the word but can't annunciate it fully.

Although he doesn't speak he understands some words clearly. If I say "where are the fishies?" he looks at the fish mobile. If I ask "Where is the ball?" he looks for the ball. If I ask "kitty?" he looks around for kitty. He also knows about Crows and birdies when we are going walking. When I say birdies he looks up. He is fascinated by crows and kitties on our morning walks.

.... to be continued along with a video of Wren playing the Glockenspiel.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I love him so much

Wren and I picked up Frost after school this afternoon. Frost was very happy to see Wren and smothered him in kisses.

He said (looking a bit coy) "You know, in gathering I started almost crying because I missed Wren so much and I wanted to be with him."

This is what the babysitter did to Wren. I have never seen him sleep on the floor before (poor sausage):

A bit sickie

Wren had a good night of sleep last night but this morning, while with Brandi the babysitter, he fell asleep on the carpet. He felt a bit warm so I took his temperature which was 100. I don't think he is very ill but seems to be coming down iwth or fighting a virus.

I checked his mouth for teeth but instead noticed he has those white patches back. I managed to get an immediate appointment with the pediatrician (they had a cancellation) and it is indeed thrush. Wren now has medicine to be applied orally and on the inside of his cheeks 4X per day. He likes the flavor of the medicine but not the gauze wipe and rub that precedes it.

I managed to pick the quince on our morning walk. They were falling on the ground around the tree. I have 12 quince and am planning on making spanish quince paste to have with cheese as well as some poached quince. None of the baby books recommend quince as an early food but I am going to offer Wren some and see what he thinks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

School is back

Frosts started back at school today after the end of summer vacation. Yes, it did have an end after all.

Wren had a bad night so I am thankful of a bit of a break today although Josh needed a ride to work as he is having a very busy week and left his bike there last night. There was a crash on 99 so it took forever to get downtown after dropping Frost at the front gate. It was a very different drop-off to this time last year. Last year I parked and stood at the gate (pregnant). Today, Wren was asleep in the carseat and Frost hopped out and ran in while I double parked.

He was dressed in a garish ensemble of pirate shorts, orange croc shoes and a tie-dyed shirt. It was his own selection which is a big step forward. Yesterday, we started a new 'reward' scheme which I have called "I can do it myself". He gets to list things he can do himself but seldom does and gets a star for doing them. If the stars accrue to an as-yet-undecided number he will get a prize.

Eg:
I can get dressed in the morning.
I can get my own water.
I can turn off the bath taps.
I can carry my plate to the kitchen.
I can go to the bathroom on my own (even out).

Wren, unfortunately, is not able to do much by himself. Last night he slept well until 2.49am and then nursed fine. While nursing the night-light bulb blew and the room became very dark. When he was done and drowsy I set him in his crib and within a second of darkness he freaked out and started screaming. Since nothing else was different I can only assume the dark frightened him. So I changed the nightlight bulb at 3.15am but by then he was all awake and agitated. I nursed him a bit more and soothed him but he was sure it was really time to get up and screamed. I went to lie down and he cried off and on until 4.15am. Meanwhile, I couldn't get back to sleep for a while due to THINKING about things such as "have I changed the batteries in the smoke alarms?" and "Did I put the night light bulb in straight or will it start smoking and the smoke alarm won't go off and Wren will suffocate and I won't know..."

He woke cranky at 5.45am and that was the night. These days I really appreciate the metaphor of "wrestling with sleep". Sleep is a visceral thing not a time of absence. I grasp its slithering form and drag into the swamp of dreams before it rears up again and I must once again struggle with its dark girth. OF course Frost had to have his contribution to my night(mare) by waking up with night terrors and crying and shaking and standing and sitting. Josh came in at that point and took him to pee. Apparently the need to pee wakes him enough to sit up and be disturbed but not into full consciousness. Since I am not in full consciousness either we make a fine pair.

Okay, off to Mom and Tot yoga for the first time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Evil Queen Attacks

You are invited to view the first family Brickfilm. It was conceived, filmed, produced, edited, compiled and complained about this morning on our kitchen table.

The film-maker Mr Joshua commented
"This film represents the overcoming of internal obstacles in us all. The witch exemplifies the feminine while the...."

[the interview was interrupted by the film-maker's infant son.

The director, Mr Frost, was unavailable for comment. According to his press officer "Frost thought up the name of the film and that was quite hard work". He is now recovering at an undisclosed location.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mudface