The kids were playing a hide and seek game in the dark in Sierra’s room one day and all the sudden Payson comes downstairs screaming crying. He told me he crawled right into the metal frame of Sierra’s bed. His cheek was already red and I knew he’d have a serious bruise. Sure enough over the next two days it got darker and more discolored. Yikes! Thankfully the pain didn’t last as long as the bruise did!

Before it faded away forever I took him outside to photograph it. It didn’t turn out well, the bright light of day hid a lot of it in photos but, he sure did look cute anyway!

You can try and try to not laugh at your mom’s jokes, Payson, but I know you and what makes you laugh, you might as well stop trying to keep a serious face. lol

I bought Ember a new outfit for her upcoming 5th birthday. She tried it on and loved it and so I snapped some pictures while we were outside.

Me and my baby kitty ♥

Everett sat by me and looked around the world and sucked on his thumb. He doesn’t suck his thumb, he just did for a minute while vegging out on this particular day.

In this photo you can see how his fingers on his right hand are curved so much they face each other at the tips. I love his fingers. I hope he isn’t bothered by them when he’s older.

Then we blew bubbles! I put the camera away for the rest of the time. Bubbles are too fun to spend time photographing 😉 haha

Everett’s Fingers Update

A bit about Everett’s scars. I don’t talk much about his syndactyly and recovery and scars anymore. I guess because it’s all about the same thing each time… or maybe because I don’t know that anyone cares?

Everett’s scars are noticeable and his skin is tight where he had surgery and he doesn’t have the best use of those fingers that were connected.
I was told to use Mederma as frequently as I possibly could and I’ve researched and read about how totally helpful it is to use Mederma or other scar creams but I’m having the most difficult time trying to do that! I feel like a wretched mother for not putting Mederma on him as often as I’d like 🙁

The thing is… he sucks his hands! How can I put that stuff on his fingers when he sucks on them?! I have talked with Allan about it often and how I have this trade off… do I put the Mederma on him and let him ingest it regularly or do I skip it but not have this wonderful scar treatment helping out his scarring?!?! Both are horrible options :/

Vitamin E oil was suggested to me by a mom I know online who has a son who had syndactyly surgery as well. Vitamin E oil is safer to consume if a baby does suck their hands and helps with scars a lot.
Another helpful thing is that winter has rolled around and that means that when I run errands Everett’s bundled under a car seat cover. It used to be that on errands and in his car seat was one of the times he sucked on his fingers the most but now he doesn’t at all! I keep the Mederma (and a bottle of vitamin E oil) in my diaper bag and massage one or the other into his scars before errands or during errands. It’s been a great, unexpected bonus to winter weather!  photo 145eresized_zpsaef66d22.jpg
I took the above picture to remember the neat Mederma-on-errands trick I did this winter.

In the picture below you can see a bit of the webbing between his ring and middle finger on his left hand. He’ll need surgery to separate that in the next 3-5 years. We don’t know when, his doctor isn’t in a hurry to do that surgery since it’s so mild and doesn’t affect the use of that hand.  photo 158eresized_zps08c2a632.jpg

In the next picture you can see that the fingers on his left hand aren’t too curved and aren’t very noticeably deformed but that the fingers on his right hand are very curved. He seems to be right handed but total hand strength in his left hand seems greater.
I guess that’s it for Everett’s fingers update!  photo 162eresized_zpsc09dc6e4.jpg

Everett’s Follow Up Appointment for His Hands

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So we had quite the ordeal getting to Everett’s appointment on time. It’s a hassle getting four gets ready and then driving so far…

We did get there on time though! But when I was signing in the receptionist tells me my appointment was cancelled and that they called me the day before to let me know and left a message.
Problem was that was the week my phone was broken! I stood there having just spent an aboslutely insane morning getting four kids ready and out the door and driving all that way and I was like… um, okay? I guess I’ll go home then :/

But the receptionist said, wait what is your appointment? A follow up? That takes like five or ten minutes, we can squeeze you in! So she goes back and asks which doctor/PA is available with the easiest gap in their schedule to squeeze me in and I get this guy named Eric. I can’t remember his last name or title because everyone just called him Eric and he introduced himself as Eric! haha

Anyway, Eric was wonderful and so great with us and didn’t treat us like a squeezed in appointment at all. It really, truly was a super quick follow up, they just needed to see that Everett’s wounds were completely healed and tell me about follow up care. Mederma at least twice a day, massage the cream in as much as possible because the massage helps loosen up his scars which is just as important as the cream used to fade and flatten them. Eric also wanted to check out the curves in Everett’s fingers. We talked a bit about how they are pretty curved and right now it’s an obvious deformity and at this point there’s no way we can know exactly how curved his fingers will stay. They don’t want to do pins or anything else… it’s just wait and see at this point. So Everett might just have one pretty curved ring finger (on his right hand) or maybe even both his ring fingers will stay looking pretty curved or maybe as he grows they’ll straighten out enough to hardly tell they’re curved! I’m obviously hoping for the second option but I can’t imagine his fingers will just grow straight. His right hand ring finger especially is so curved.

Oh yeah, I also wanted to say that I really wanted to see Everett’s surgeon, Dr. Laurel Benson but she’d been in a bad car accident a few weeks after Everett had his surgery back in July and has been out of work ever since! She isn’t expected back to work this year at all! I was so worried about her when I heard that. I really love her and hope she has a full recovery. I’m still so sad for her 🙁  photo 225eresized_zps9013b92f.jpg photo 235bwresized_zps71dd34b4.jpg

Breastfeeding before the long drive home.  photo 242bwresized_zps6dce03a4.jpg

That’d Be My Baby Eating Puffs

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Always snapping shots of his fingers. photo 168eresized_zps5e735572.jpg photo 174eresized_zps4c55790c.jpg

The nice thing about having a private blog is I don’t have to apologize for posting ten thousand pictures. I love taking and posting an excessive amount of photos. So that’s what I’m doing 🙂  photo 193eresized_zps8f4c731c.jpg photo 196eresized_zps0b679c2c.jpg photo 198eresized_zps704b10d7.jpg photo 200eresized_zpsc70753ec.jpg

Ember came in to join him.  photo 216eresized_zpse249c120.jpg

And wanted some attention.  photo 232eresized_zps5cd5f696.jpg

“Mom take a picture of me like this. And like this. And this one, mom. And take a picture of this.”  photo 245eresized_zpsce11f2cc.jpg photo 248eresized_zps0dbf5cee.jpg photo 255eresized_zps328b992a.jpg photo 259eresized_zpsaefde8ca.jpg photo 266eresized_zpsfd008659.jpg photo 274eresized_zps07866c5d.jpg photo 280eresized_zps183c63f9.jpg photo 286eresized_zps998b2494.jpg

And then Ember gave me the idea to make a fort. And that was fun.  photo 297eresized_zps12041a16.jpg photo 300eresized_zpsb41dde65.jpg photo 307eresized_zps2dfa3559.jpg photo 331eresized_zps5339f1d2.jpg

And then we played with Play-Doh.  photo 013eresized_zps5570cd55.jpg

And then we went and picked Brooke up from school. And Ember fell asleep on the way home. And stayed asleep for an hour.  photo 016eresized_zps986090ba.jpg photo 023eresized_zpsc5ea4e80.jpg

And then I bought a new app called Art of Glow and the kids loved it so much it entertained them for close to an hour.  photo 696bwresized_zps7aa40644.jpg photo 703bwresized_zps13f3fd85.jpg photo 709bwresized_zps5f3bf056.jpg

Everett’s Fingers – 4 Days After His Casts Came Off

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They’re healing really well! Darn near perfectly healing, honestly.  photo 042eresized_zpsa2c2b889.jpg photo 047eresized_zpsdb5a7053.jpg

As the healing moves along the focus starts to fall more on the shape of his fingers rather than his scabs. I can clearly see how curved his right ring finger is. It worries me for his future… a dozen questions about what his hands will look like and work like go through my head. But all I can use for information is time… it’s a waiting game to see how those fingers will grow and develop and turn out.  photo 054eresized_zps936e74d0.jpg

I’m really happy at this point with how smooth and nicely colored his scars are!  photo 060eresized_zps61211e44.jpg

Above all else I’m so happy with how quickly Everett got back his use of his fingers. Within 24 hours he was back to grabbing and picking up and playing with his baby toys. I was worried it’d be a slower process to regain the use of his hands but nope… besides the scars and curves in his fingers you’d never guess he had surgery!  photo 067eresized_zps202551fd.jpg photo 070eresized_zpsee48a014.jpg

The Day After His Casts Came Off!

Everett’s hands are doing so well today! He got three baths and has been working on figuring out how to use those fingers again! He can already grab and play with toys and it’s starting to look like his movements before he had surgery!  photo 082eresized_zps25d1370f.jpg

Above you can see him grabbing a granola bar wrapper. Wrappers (and all paper/plastic trash) are Everett’s favorite thing to play with so I used that to entice him to try to use his fingers over and over to grab. It worked!  photo 086eresized_zpsb32b6def.jpg

The three long baths really helped soften up the entire area and so much of his scabs have fallen off!  photo 090eresized_zpsf129fc3a.jpg photo 095eresized_zpsd7e7b696.jpg photo 097eresized_zps60276bb4.jpg

His fingers are still extremely swollen. I couldn’t believe how swollen his whole hands were when the casts came off! The doctor told me right away that was totally normal and I’m glad that he did because it freaked me out when I first saw them. Today they were much less swollen but still pretty giant!  photo 099eresized_zpsd860dc50.jpg photo 100eresized_zps97345abe.jpg photo 103eresized_zps2af4a429.jpg photo 110eresized_zpsf050fd8c.jpg photo 113eresized_zpsaaa55750.jpg

Unfortunately his ring fingers are very curved. His right hand is the most curved.  photo 129eresized_zps28de378a.jpg photo 134eresized_zps4cd2ea1d.jpg photo 136e2resized_zps2a6af7d3.jpg photo 137eresized_zps1f3bb8ae.jpg

One Week After Everett’s Surgery Day!

So much happened this week! Wow. I feel exhausted and worn out!

Today Everett has been cranky. I’m going to talk about his medications for a minute…

So Everett hates taking medicine. Many of my babies has but he might be the worst. He arches his back, kicks his feet, yanks his head this way and that, cries, screams, gags and chokes and throws up… it’s really awful. It has taken me at least 10 minutes to give him his medicine each time he needs a dose this week. 4 doses a day means 24 doses so far and about 240 minutes of struggle! Is that right?! That can’t be right!! I mean, I know it’s felt like a huge burden and really time consuming but seeing it added up like that blows my mind! That’s 4 hours worth of struggling with an 8 month old to give him medicine he needs!

Anyway, it was even getting worse as the week went on. Everett would catch sight of the medicine dropper and start trying to escape me right away. lol

Today is one week since his surgery and with how he’s acting about pain I decided to try to go without giving him his motrin for the day. The last time he had it was at 2am last night. It’s now 12:30pm. He was super cranky this morning but I don’t know if that was a bit of pain or what. He fell asleep an hour ago and I’ll see how he’s acting once he wakes up. I’m not opposed to giving him more medicine if he seems like he’s in pain. Hopefully not, though. My life would be a bit easier if I could go without that huge struggle four times a day!

Once I got Everett to sleep today I went downstairs into our basement to sew a couple more cast covers out of shirts. I have two for him but they get dirty so fast! I need at least 6, I think. I have so much, SO MUCH freaking laundry- I need to have things enough to go for two days without having to wash. 6 cast covers should make it two full days. Hopefully! haha

I ended up going to Wal-Mart and buying a few $2.50 shirts to make the covers out of. I was using old sleepers but t-shirts are easier because the hem of the shirt can be used to thread the elastic through without needing to make a casing of my own for the elastic! That’s the hardest step (but not really hard, just extra time) so it’s nice to skip it. I think right now I have 5 cast covers made. I don’t feel like making more but I probably will.

Beyond all this stuff I just wanted to say, I’m really sick of his casts. They’re ruining so many things about our life right now. First of all he’s bored out of his mind not being able to use his hands. He’s fussy all day when not held because he’s just so bored! I try to give him things to hit or kick but he just doesn’t care… he wants to grab them and hold them and stick them in his mouth, not kick them or hit them with a cast. He’s not abnormally fussy, nothing like what I’ve dealt with with other kids of mine but he is fussy any single minute I’m not holding him or sitting right by him playing with him and it’s getting exhausting. I’m plum worn out, honestly.

The second issue with his casts is sleeping at night. We’ve always coslept and the weeks right before his surgery he’d gotten into the bad habit of wanting to nurse all night long while laying next to me. Since he didn’t keep me up too much while breastfeeding in bed it didn’t bother me much. But now he can’t nurse while laying next to me because his giant arm cast is in the way so I’m waking up dozens of times each night with him. I have to sit up in bed and nurse him and it’s killing my back! Our room has hard wood floors and our bed has wheels so if I lean against the wall while sitting in my bed the bed starts to slide away. This means I have to sit straight up with no back support! So… awoken out of sleep for the 10th time by a crying baby, I’m already so exhausted I feel like crying, and I have to hold him and his giant, awkward arm casts and sit straight up in bed and feed him! It really sucks.

The third reason his giant casts are bugging me is I have to keep them perfectly dry and it’s been sprinkling on and off all week here in Castle Rock! This means our outside time (which I’m desperate for) is shortened. The heat also keeps us indoors because I don’t want Everett to get all sweaty with his casts! He’s the most happy outdoors so this is all a big bummer.

There are many more reasons but I’ll just stop talking about them now. Those are the big ones. I’m so so looking forward to August 14th!! It’s going to be AWESOME having his arms free again!!

Well, I hear Everett crying in his bed so his nap was super short. It’s the first time he’s napped in three days though so even the half hour I got without holding him felt like a gift from God. I really wish this kid would just freaking nap again. I can’t handle holding him every second of every day. And night.

Portable Highchair!

I’ve been wanting a portable highchair since long before Everett had surgery. We want to start going camping a lot and bringing a baby along means me standing around with a baby on my hip all day every day we’re out there! Not the most ideal!

With Everett’s surgery and how often we try to go out of the house to distract him from his boredom (he’s SO bored not being able to play with toys) I needed a chair for him to sit in. He doesn’t like strollers so I figured, maybe he’d like a highchair type chair?

So I ordered the Kelsyus Go With Me Chair from Amazon and picked it up last week.  photo 011eresized_zpsdf0a177f.jpg photo 014eresized_zps28be2c3c.jpg

Later that day at the park I got a chance to try it out. I was nervous that even though the creators’ claimed for it to be easy to set up that it wouldn’t actually be. I worried for nothing because it was literally as easy as easy can be!  photo 031eresized_zps83cb3c8c.jpg photo 030eresized_zps3b258981.jpg

Just for the record… if I ever say that Ember can’t stay away from her baby brother, and adores that boy more than almost anything, I’m not exaggerating 🙂  photo 042eresized_zpsc7c24555.jpg

This was our first time to this particular playground. It’s a lot of fun there and reasonably close to our house. Like, 7 minutes away!  photo 059eresized_zps0a3665c7.jpg photo 075eresized_zpsba5d24bb.jpg photo 078eresized_zpsbcc8f6ee.jpg photo 098eresized_zpsce91c73b.jpg photo 118eresized_zps2c3c54fb.jpg

It started raining so I spent most of the rest of the time sitting under the covered picnic area with Everett. It’s a pain having to keep his casts dry during the rainiest week of the summer! haha  photo 125bwresized_zps653d8b71.jpg photo 126bwresized_zps94cd2fbd.jpg photo 129eresized_zps5841667d.jpg

I ended up taking a few dozen pictures because I was so bored just sitting there for an hour!  photo 159eresized_zps30c8ecca.jpg photo 168bwresized_zps1928fe8e.jpg

I mean, I was enjoying hanging out with my cuddly baby but… you know, it gets boring just sitting after a while!  photo 170eresized_zps417a25db.jpg

Luckily Everett was in a good mood and giggling like crazy over the silly sounds and faces I made for him.  photo 175eresized_zps7b0596ed.jpg photo 188eresized_zpse1d99326.jpg

I keep an umbrella and a spare blanket on me at all times these days in case of rain. This is the set up I used to get Everett back to the car dry:  photo 205eresized_zps41ad0f4a.jpg

Oh and here are a few snaps of the girls before we went home. The sky was so cool and dark gray ♥  photo 211eresized_zps1da0e019.jpg photo 226eresized_zps0ea0e1d4.jpg photo 236eresized_zps14afa21a.jpg

Hi, baby!  photo 242eresized_zps7cd4fbce.jpg

I got all our stuff (and the kids) in the car and then took some pictures of the sky before heading home. It was so pretty.  photo 245eresized_zpsb9c189ff.jpg photo 250eresized_zps1a97ed19.jpg