Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Save a Life

"Mommy! Come here! I have to show you something!" he shrieks in excitement. I prepare myself for the "mommy reaction." You know, the act-like-it-is-the-coolest-thing-ever reaction you give your kids when they do something they believe no one else has ever done. In that one moment my kids can feel like a king or queen. Love it! Anyway...I follow Coulby, who is practically skipping with excitement, out to the garage and, pointing with enthusiasm, he says,"Look! Look what I found! It's a hummingbird!" No way! Not again. But there it was. This tiny little thing covered in spiderwebs from beak to wings just sitting on the garage floor. This is the second hummingbird to find its way into the garage this summer. Not quite sure what they think is so appealing in a garage full of clutter and spiderwebs, but whatever. Coulby was ecstatic that he had found this hummingbird and that we were going to save it.

I scooped the bird up gently and carried it into the house. Not sure if it was on its way out of this world, I told the kids that we could try to give it hummingbird nectar to help it fly again. The bird was so still in my hand, and its eyes were closed. But the second I started trying to get the spiderwebs off of its wings, it came to life and took flight in my kitchen. Kind of a drowsy flight, but it managed to perch on the top of the window. By this time the cat was trying to get in on the action, so I got the bird in my hand yet again and held it closed this time. Coulby really wanted to hold it, and I was a little hesitant, but the look on his face was one of such excitement that I couldn't resist. He was so gentle with the bird and tried to pet it while Caroline looked on like a little mama, talking to the bird so it knew it was okay and that we were going to save him (or her...not quite sure).

We managed to get the hummingbird to drink some nectar (Pennington pre-made is the BEST!) and when I took it outside and opened up my hand, it took flight. I watched it fly high into the sky until it disappeared in the distance. And while I loved getting the opportunity to hold this feathered friend, let my children hold it and recharge its energy, I hope he does not come back to visit.

This was a bright spot in the weekend for the kids and myself. That and the fact that Coulby is getting through another illness at HOME! He started complaining of a sore throat around last Thursday, was waking up in the night Thursday night into the early hours of Friday morning, and had started with decreased appetite somewhere in between all of this. There was obviously something going on, but we did not know what until late Friday afternoon. I had thought nothing of the sore throat until little reddish bumps resembling bug bites started popping out on Coulby's ankles, the bottoms of his feet and around his hands. He had the telltale sores in the back of his throat, common to Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. UGH!!!!

So I know it sounds horrible to call it a disease, but that is how it is is referred. And it is running rampant in the childcare center where I am working. It started in the infants room (and yeah, that is where I am...of course!). Despite my greatest efforts to clean and sanitize absolutely EVERYTHING in the room about a million times, it still managed to make its way up to the school-age classroom upstairs. Go figure. And of course Coulby would get it. I kind of anticipated it and hoped for it to bypass my little man, but no such luck. While most of the babies have had fevers along with the bumps and sores, Coulby never presented with fever (whew!) We are about 4 days in and he seems to be getting better, despite a continued decreased appetite. Hopefully that will pick up again soon. Really that has been the most stressful thing about this illness. That and his restless nights. But the eating thing is always worrisome.
I do feel lucky every time Coulby gets sick and can stay home through it all. I know that things could be way worse. While it is no fun for Coulby to be sick, and it usually means less sleep for all of us, at least he is home. Lost sleep is easy to remedy, and a small price to pay for Coulby's good health.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It ain't easy being cheesy!...OR...Say cheese!...OR...The adventures of Coulby and the twisted cheese curls!

Cheese curls are not my thing. I am more of a Cheetos girl. But that does not matter when Coulby is in a cheese curls phase. 'Cheese curls phase' = Coulby WILLINGLY eating excessive amounts of cheese curls. And this means that he is getting not only protein to easily help meet his daily protein requirements, but also all of the calories that cheese curls have to offer...which are a lot. Coulby liking cheese curls makes life a lot easier because we have a sure thing to feed him that makes the job of meeting his dietary needs easier. MUCH easier, truth be told.

And these are no ordinary cheese curls. They are TWISTED cheese curls. These spiral things that look cool and take up a lot of room in the bag to make it look full even though it is not (one of the most annoying things about any bag of chips, really). 28g of cheese curls = 1.8g of protein and 160 calories. Coulby can eat about 75g or so in one sitting...about 429 calories! *Gasp* Guess most parents would be horrified that their child was consuming that many calories from cheese curls. But not parents of children with UCDs. The more calories the better. Kind of a foreign concept in this world of over-consumption and gluttony.

Not only does Coulby love cheese curls...twisted...but he makes sure he gets every last little bit of cheesy coating at the bottom of the bag. Kinda gross, but whatever works. Hence the above photo. That was Coulby post-empty-cheese-curl-bag. He had this cheesy beard and mustache going on that, while disgusting, was also very photo-worthy. I did not capture it well enough to do it justice, but the cheese was coated on his face, fingers and body pretty good. I could not be happier that there is something that I KNOW he will eat if nothing else. Until he gets tired of the twisted cheese curls, they will stock the pantry shelves.

On another note, Coulby had a Hopkins appointment yesterday. And his ammonia was...(drum roll)...29!! Yay! A number we can work with for sure! He has gained weight (thanks to twisted cheese curls, no doubt) and had an overall good check-up. Good news is always nice to report. A relief. A reminder of Coulby's miraculous life.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life, Love and all things worth LOVING and LIVING for...


"Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror."

~Byrd Baggett


"You come to love not by finding the perfect person,but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."

~Sam Keen


"A friend is one to whom one can pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keeping what is worth keeping, and, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

~Arabian Proverb


"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

~Angela Schwindt


"The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser-in case you thought optimism was dead."

~Robert Brault

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let's hear it for RED, WHITE and BLUE!!

Coulby and Caroline were too cute decked out in their red, white and blue for the 4th. I had to torture them with a photo shoot...