5.26.2009

Jumping for Joy

What is Kip so egg-cited about?

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He's egg-cited about the progress he's making! I've alluded to my "Kip diet" in previous posts. The poor little guy has "protein intolerance" which in lay man's terms means his digestive system isn't mature enough to digest some (all?) proteins. As a result, when he receives proteins from my milk his stomach cramps, little ulcers form, and he has too many dirty diapers. Through a lot of trial and error and even more prayer we were able to come up with a list of foods that Kip seemed to tolerate pretty well. Over time, as I ate the limited diet, his diapers were fewer, his discomfort subsided, and a big sigh of relief could be heard at our house. His digestive system still wasn't acting "normal" but it was close. Well, that is until three weeks ago.

Out of the blue, with no change in my "Kip diet," Kip started having his original symptoms to a greater degree than ever before. Nearly every diaper contained visible blood. His pediatrician did a CBC and checked him for infections and parasites - all clear and normal. Great news except that it didn't explain why he was suddenly worse. We were instructed to wait for him to outgrow this problem or switch him to prescription formula that he may not tolerate any better. Totally awesome news - on opposite day. Thankfully Kip has stopped having visible blood in his diapers and he seems to be getting over whatever happened, though he is not yet as close to "normal" as he was before.

Knowing what I know (and have experienced) about the gut, the immune system, autoimmune diseases, and Kip's own genetic predispositions, I'm not content to sit around and wait. During his "flare," I talked to the owner at Food for Life who suggested that I call the Wellness Center at People's Rx. I did. People's suggested that I call a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and gave me a couple of names. I'm not overly knowledgeable about alternative medicine, but my ignorance doesn't mean it isn't effective. I did see a DOM during my pregnancy with Kip and benefited from it. After praying about it, I called a DOM and spoke to him about Kip. He recently helped three babies overcome major reflux issues and was eager to try to help Kip with his eating issues.

During our first visit with him, he examined Kip, and concluded that Kip wasn't intolerant of a laundry list of foods, but instead his immune system needed to be strengthen in order for him to digest properly. It made sense to me - the major part of our immune system is in our gut; my immune system is whack-a-doodle and Kip is my son; Kip doesn't seem to properly digest breastmilk no matter what I eat. Don't get me wrong, I was still very skeptical, but his diagnosis intrigued me.

Our DOM has treated Kip 5 times now. It is non-invasive, painless, and involves accupressure. To borrow Marti's phrase, "it can't hurt and might help." Last week, the DOM suggested that Kip should be able to digest eggs now. Seriously, eggs? They are one of the most allergenic foods. Anytime I've "tested" one of the foods on the commonly allergenic list he's had a terrible reaction that has taken days to recover from. The DOM requested that I test eggs so I hesitantly decided to test them this weekend when Brian had some chance of being home. (Side note, 6 days until Session ends!) On Saturday morning I ate 4 bites of an egg. Not much, but enough to send Kip over the edge in previous trials. By Sunday afternoon we were still waiting for him to react. Nothing happened. Sunday evening I ate an entire egg. I was anxious, hopeful, and preparing for Kip to scream all day Monday. Again, nothing.

I ate an egg without Kip crying! It is so egg-citing. It is egg-actly what we've been praying for! (Excuse the puns, please.)

To be fair, maybe egg was never an issue for Kip. It was one of the foods that the pedi suggested I remove from my diet early on so I never tested it previously. Or maybe Kip is starting to outgrow his issue, though his day-to-day diapers don't suggest that to be the case. Whatever the explanation, we are so thankful that we had a successful trial and I have one more food on the "green light" list.

We're continuing on with our DOM's treatments for now. I'll post if something significant - good or bad - happens. Regardless of whenever and however God chooses to heal or not heal Kip, we're really thankful for the outcome of our egg-periment. (Sorry, I had to do it.)

5.25.2009

Noteworthy

Today I took a shower...while home alone with both boys...who were both awake...without having to run out mid-shower, with no crying, and I even shaved my legs!

Granted, the boys were in the bathroom almost the entire time, but the joy from being clean and listening to them laugh together overshadowed that entirely.

After my shower Josh combed and cut (with his pretend finger scissors) my hair before I dried it. He also approved of my outfit. Quite the little helper.

I thank God for the small gifts He sends...the shower. (The boys are big gifts.)

5.20.2009

A couple Kip snippets

On Monday night we discovered that one of the contestants on the new season of the Bachelorette is named Kiptyn (a.k.a Kip). Will Kiptyn is a total goon on the show? Will he be a good "Kip" representative? According to a comment posted online, he "is the most handsome and nicest person ever!" It reminded me of my friends who work with kids and how they have associations with certain names. Anyway, my favorite toungue in cheek quote about him is: "...because we all know "Kip" would be a better name if it ended with three random consonants" Rock on. I'm so glad we stopped at K-I-P.

Our Kip continues to show his personality. As I've mentioned before, Kip is a talkative baby. He coos, purrs, and "talks" throughout the day. It is quite pleasant and fun to have him interacting so much. However, recently, he discovered his volume control. Here's a clip of Kip from yesterday when he turned 5 months old. (Seriously, 5 months? How?) I'm predicting some fun times ahead!

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5.07.2009

Muffins with Mom

Josh's preschool had a Mother's Day program this morning. It was so cute, but a small part of me was preoccupied with figuring out just how we've arrived at the "attending school programs" milestone already.

Josh and his classmates sang songs...

...well, sort of. Josh sings these songs at home but barely cracked his lips open during the actual performance. He did hold up his "September" banner at the right times during the "months of the year" song.

performed a dance with partners...

...Josh was the reluctant partner with one of the twin girls in his class. There was spinning, hand holding, walking, clapping, and knee tapping involved.

...and then the teachers read a description of each mother as described by their child and we guessed which mom they were describing. After your description was read your child gave you a vase that they decorated for you with a picture flower. My goodness, his teachers are so creative and patient. Here's Josh's description of me:

My mom's name is "I don't know." She is 12 years old and has brown eyes and black hair. Her favorite food is apples. I love my mom because she makes macaroni and cheese for me."

So, if you locate Josh's mom, please send her to our house.

The sheet with Josh's description included a drawing of me and he wrote his own name (with the what seems to be signature backward "S".) Not bad for my sweet 3 year old!

The "I love my mom because" part was a bit sad for me actually. We took dairy out of Josh's diet a couple of months ago so mac and cheese is no longer on the menu. Will he still love me? Instead of juggling that difficult question, while Josh was in school today, I went by the new gluten-free/casein-free restaurant in Cedar Park and picked up some non-dairy mac and cheese as a surprise for him. I think I need to find a recipe somewhere.

When their performance was over the moms and kids ate muffins and took pictures together. As I said, it was a sweet time.

Next week Josh has a class picture. What? Mind boggling, isn't it? I'm becoming more and more convinced that Kip shouldn't grow up.