Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Looking back on posts, I realized I didn't post on Soren's 4th birthday...oops!

Soren is celebrating his Golden birthday this year...Big.Number.FIVE. He has grown and developed so much this past year, it's been great to watch.

Likes: Marble Runs, Snacks, Making "Machines" out of random toys, swimming, playing at the park, Kindle apps, Julius Jr. shows, Bo on the Go shows, Mutt n' Stuff shows, helping cook, drawing pictures, collecting rocks, camping, cats and dogs, bowling, Uno, farting and laughing, trips to Nana Cheryl's, forts and flashlights, workbooks, muffins, "trapping" himself under laundry baskets, making pillow nests and jumping on the bed

Dislikes: Large groups of people, riding his bike (though he is slowly starting to warm up to it), bugs, movies at the theater (such a travesty!), ice skating 

Favorite foods: Pizza Ranch, Chipotle, waffles and pancakes, ice water, carrots and ranch, peas, Doughnuts, Ice cream, "snacks", cheese pizza

Foods he dislikes: strawberries, tomatoes, mom's ideas for dinner (even though most of the time he loves them)

Development: He dresses himself (though sometimes he puts them on backwards/inside out/crooked), washes his hands by himself, has made some friends at preschool, writes his name like a pro, learning mom and dad's phone numbers, knows the sounds of each letter, can rhyme simple words, starting to ask questions about death (especially following the loss of our rescued cat), learning to swim

Things I want to remember: 

  • When asked when his birthday is, he says "July 5th Summer"; 
  • "Momma, you're the mom boss at our house"; 
  • Him singing "We built this city on rock n roll" in the bathtub; 
  • When he made multiple attempts of staying up longer by coming out of his room and saying the sun is keeping him up (even though it was dark) and then asking "Well what are you gonna do about it?" when I told him the sun already went to sleep and he needed to also;
  • Making cheese and cracker sandwiches with cheese on the outside and cracker on the inside; 
  • When he wanted to rock at bedtime with me after being at dad's for 5 days; 
  • When he gives me play money for "making dinner";
  •  "Momma, I came up with a new game. It's called 'Who made that smell?'";
  •  Me: "Soren, you need to give momma some privacy when she's using the bathroom." Soren: "But momma, I need to protect you...call me if you need something"; 
  • His love for T. Swift's "Shake it Off" and dancing to it with momma in the car, asking momma to "Turn on our song!"; 
  • His "Bear Hunt" song; 
  • As he's eating his doughnut, he says "It's a great day today, isn't it?";
  • "Momma, I love you. You're my best girl"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bell's Palsy

On Monday evening, I received a text from Soren's dad that his face had been droopy all day. I immediately left work, rushed to my parents' house and took him to Children's Hospital ER with my mom. The worry (and anger) that came with were immense, but I went into survival parenting mode and did my best to stay calm.

Upon arrival to the ER, Soren was shortly directed back to a room in front of many other children in the ER. This was potentially very serious and I knew it. While in the ER, the resident and MD met with Soren and determined they wanted to take a CT scan to rule out any masses/tumors that may be causing the facial droop. They said that Soren needed to be completely still during the CT scan so we opted for sedation. At first they tried a nasal spray sedative but it did not help and caused Soren to become agitated and confused...it was painful to watch as he screamed at the top of his lungs randomly, yelling "AHH CHOO" (as if sneezing) and slur "What's happening?". Because this didn't work, the next course of action was to do an IV sedative. The first IV they put in blew his vein, so they needed to do the other side which was successful. I carried him to CT and they got him strapped up to the CT scan board then administered the drug...he quickly slumped and I was asked to leave the room for the scan. Upon leaving the CT room, the tears began to flow. My mom held my hand and fought back tears as we listened to him fighting the sedation from the room next door; I told myself his persistence should serve him well in the future. I think he needed a couple more boosts before he was knocked out.

After the CT scan was completed, they rolled him back to the ER room where we waited for him to wake up. He was pretty tired (by this time it was about midnight) so because of this and them wanting the ENT doctor to see him in the morning, they decided to admit him into the short care unit at the hospital for continued observance. We also received the news at this time that his CT scan was all clear (THANK GOD!!!)

His night-shift nurse, Isaac, was absolutely phenomenal and he won Soren's heart over with just a "hello". He had lots of funny animal noises that Soren loved, and carried Soren around with him as he was preparing things for his transfer to the hospital. At one point Soren pushed his hand towards us and told Nana and I to "Go Away." I asked him where we should go and he thought a minute and said "Minneapolis"...it was quite a relief amidst the anxiety. Issac carried him up to his new room as we followed.

Soren decided he was hungry at that time (about 3am) so he munched on some Raisin Bran and Teddy Grahams as the RN administered his first course of steroids. The steroids were thought to reduce potential inflammation pushing on the facial nerve causing the droop. He also was put on an eye ointment every 2 hours since his eye wouldn't fully close ...he hated it, along with the bandaid on his toe that was measuring oxygen levels. About 3:30am, we all went to sleep. Soren and I slept on his bed while Nana slept on the cot; I slept for about 30 mins that night as the nurse continued to come check on his IV and give the eye ointment, and Soren slept about 3 hours.

The next morning, the pediatricians (and tons of residents and medical students) came and met with us. The Pediatrician explained it is largely unknown what caused his condition, but research has shown it likely comes from a virus, residual fluid in his ear from his last ear infection, or Lyme's Disease; she said it was highly unlikely it was Lyme's Disease as it is Winter, and decided to not test him for this. The ENT was supposed to meet with us also that morning, but we received word around lunch time that he was not going to be able to make it and provided recommendations to the team. Soren was sent home yesterday with a twice daily steroid for 5 days and an eye lubricant to use at night. I was told that it could take several months for it to clear up but that they are hopeful of his prognosis since the steroids were started so quickly.

Soren had a routine follow-up appt with his eye doctor today and his eye dr does not feel his wandering eye is related to the Bell's Palsy as his eye turned to the outside today which shows that other nerve is working (Nerves 6 and 7 run through the same tight space). Soren's eye script was increased and we go back in 6 weeks for a re-check. Soren also has a follow-up with the ENT doctor tomorrow, and they will test his hearing and such and will try to determine if it is indeed ear fluid that is causing the palsy. The CT scan did not show fluid, but the nurse explained that it is such a small picture that it may not have gotten it in the scan.

It has been a roller coaster past 48-hours, but I am SO thankful it is not something more serious. Nana was my saving grace through all of this, along with nurse Isaac (and all the other doctors and nurses). The new monkey Nana bought Soren, is being named "Isaac". Soren is in very bright spirits and his facial droop has already significantly improved with just 3 days of steroids. His eyelid is shutting now so we can stop the eye ointment. Here's the pics that I took, documenting our adventure:

After unsuccessful nasal spray sedation attempt

Coming out of CT scan

He's trying to smile in this pic, the palsy is very noticeable on the right side

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Year, New Adventures

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last posted! My laptop hit the crapper and I postponed getting a new one until now, so I'm back! There's lots of new things to update on, so for simplicity's sake, I am bringing out the bullet points:

  • The divorce was finalized in April. Slowly with time, peace has settled in.
  • Soren celebrated his 3rd birthday in July! We had a simple BBQ shindig at my parents' home and it was great! Soren cried when we sang "Happy Birthday" (sensory overload), which was memorable.

  • Last Summer we completed 2 more camping trips on my bucket list of going camping at all MN state parks before Soren goes to college. Our first trip was to Bemidji State Park. It was a long drive, but is so gorgeous up there, and with the exception of yucky sand, the beach was awesome! Soren wasn't too interested in swimming in the cold lake yet, but I suspect this year he'll be much more excited about playing in the sand and waves. Also on this trip, I tripped while playing "kick" (soccer) with Soren and ended up with a really bad sprain. 9 months later, and it still does not feel back to normal. In addition to this, I was taking apart the screen tent poles which required great strength, and ended up knocking Soren in the forehead with the pole when they came apart...he continues to have a small bump on his forehead from that. Here's some pictures from that trip:

  • We also went to Savannah Portage State Park. This park had a fun bogwalk. It was really muddy and wet from previous rainfall but we still had fun. The trees behind our tent would have been a child's fantasy dream to play in, but Soren wasn't quite brave enough for that yet. 

  • At the end of July, I took Soren to get his eyes checked simply because he gets a free exam and I wanted to rule out vision issues with his frequent tripping. I was not anticipating the results, which showed quite a deficit in his near-sightedness. He is now in glasses and was prescribed to start patching 2 hours a day in December. His left eye is becoming quite a bit weaker and his right eye is compensating for it, so the patching helps develop and strengthen the connections from his left eye to his brain so he'll actually start benefiting from the prescription. Recently, his left is has been turning (lazy eye) and he has another appt next week and we'll find out the next steps in treating that.

  • Soren moved up to the 3yo class at his preschool this Fall! I was nervous about him being ready, but he has mostly been doing well (behind socially). He currently goes one full day on Fridays when I'm at work.

  • Soren is potty-trained! He was potty trained this past Summer, then had 2 regressions. I *think* we're in the clear now and do not anticipate any more regressions.
  • Soren's dad got married this past Summer and they had twin boy and girl in December, which makes Soren a big brother! He doesn't say much about his siblings, except that they "cry alot", "drink from bottle", and "not big enough to play". He had some initial adjustments with his behavior, but things have smoothed out for the most part.
  • In January, I applied to be part of a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Mentorship training pilot program through my employer, and was selected! I have been co-facilitating 2 therapy sessions a week with my mentor, then we are in consultation and advanced Psychoanalysis coursework for 5 hours on Fridays. I am greatly enjoying the opportunity and new learning, and am also hopeful that this will open doors for me in the future with obtaining a therapy position. 
  • In the next year, I anticipate moving into a weekday position (I'm currently working permanent Fridays-Mondays), which will impact parenting schedule and overall routine, which is bittersweet. I have greatly enjoyed being home with Soren three weekdays, which has allowed him to receive speech and OT services twice a week and other fun adventures.
  • Soren has been receiving speech and OT services for the past year, and he recently completed his annual testing and will be testing out of OT! He has caught up or is advanced in all developmental areas now and I am forever grateful for the opportunity for him to do these without any residual financial stressors. He will likely continue to have some sensory and motor planning "quirks", but we are hopeful that he will gain coping skills to work through these to continue to master new developmental tasks. His speech testing is starting next week, and there's a good chance he will also test out of speech services. He has come SO.FAR. in his speech, it is unreal! I am so proud of him!

  • Soren and I moved out of my parents' home and into our own 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment in December! I'd be lying if I didn't say there was alot of anxiety about moving out on our own, but it has been a mostly easy adjustment. It's nice to have our own space and things are much more peaceful now. We've developed our own routines which has been nice. I am noticing that Soren is becoming a more picky eater since we moved out on our own as I haven't been cooking diverse meals as much when I know I would be the only one eating it for the most part... still working on figuring this one out and trying to find a good balance.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Week in Pictures

We have had a wonderful wonderful week! Sunday was Easter, and Soren was able to spend the day with me which is very much treasured. We went to church in the morning, then came back for dinner at my parent's house. Later we headed over to my (paternal) aunt's side and also had fun over there. I love Easter, it is probably my favorite holiday.
Also on Easter, we got the call that my brother's wife was in labor so we were all anxiously awaiting my nephew's arrival. Soren went back to his dad's on Sunday night, then my mom woke me up at 3am Monday and said it's baby time! We went to the hospital, which is such a fun experience! My mom and I occasionally listened outside the door, and it was such a thrilling and exciting time until the nurse shooed us away. Carter Jay was born at 10:34 weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 20.5 inches long. He is absolutely beautiful and so so loved! Soren isn't too interested in him at this point, but things will get more exciting in the future, I'm sure! I spent lots of time at the hospital because I couldn't get enough of his preciousness. He has brought so much joy into my life already!
We've been watching their dog Diesel, which Soren has been very fond of...
Soren had Speech and OT twice this week (as he normally does). I finally took some pictures of his OT. He LOVES speech and OT!!!
It's been raining consistently today, so I decided now would be a great time to go get some rain boots for Soren as he will need them for camping this Summer. He LOVED playing out in the rain today!