Quarantine

I feel like its been forever since I’ve published a blog post.  So much has happened in the last couple weeks since I wrote about Felix’s amazing progress.  Not so much just in our home, but in the world.  And since this is a blog written mostly for me and my family to look back on, I’m going to state facts and opinions that most everyone has already either said, read, or heard otherwise.  So sorry if I seem like a broken record with this one…

The world is sick. A new strain of corona virus, called COVID-19, has made the jump from animals to human, and over the course of the last several months it has spread to over a million confirmed human cases so far. I say confirmed, because testing is strictly limited, and unless it’s an extreme illness or a high risk situation, you can’t get tested. The first case was in Wuhan, China. It spread across Asia and Europe, Australia and the United States. It’s almost everywhere now. Italy, Spain, and China have been the hardest hit so far, but USA is closely rising to the top of that list. USA has the most confirmed cases, but not as many deaths yet.  COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Most people that end up hospitalized need to be on a ventilator to recover. It typically attacks those who immunocompromised, have a heart or pre-existing lung condition, or are older than 60.

People have been given orders across the states to stay in their homes, and only go out to get essentials for survival like groceries. Social distancing has been a requirement, where everyone is supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from each other in public. All private gatherings are supposed to be limited to 10 people or less. All church services, concerts, festivals, and even many businesses have been closed, cancelled and/or postponed. Restaurants, theaters, playgrounds, bars, salons, gyms and casinos are all closed. Restaurants are allowed only to do delivery and carry out. Schools were closed until April 13th, and now that’s been extended until April 30th, though it is expected school will not resume until fall.  just yesterday the CDC announced that everyone should wear masks in public, to prevent the spread of the disease even from the asymptomatic.

Early on, before it got real bad here, people went out and bought all the cleaning supplies and toilet paper. It has been difficult, even weeks later, to find toilet paper and diapers.

Over a normal 2-week period in the United States there are about half a million unemployment claims. In the last 2 weeks there have been over 10 million claims. The stock market is crashing. The government is attempting to help the American workers and small businesses by sending out relief checks for $1200 per individual and $500 per child, also stimulus for small businesses. But the future is looking very grim right now. Medical supplies are running critically short and the cases are just now ramping up. The country’s top infectious disease specialist says he expects around 240,000 US deaths by the time we’re done. This is where we are today (3 APRIL 2020):

At first I thought people were being ridiculous with all the closures and whatnot. Now I take it a lot more seriously. My mom is diabetic and has a heart condition, Jarrod’s mom has a heart condition, my best friend has a lung condition…. this virus has the potential to really rock our lives. So I’m doing everything I can to be as safe as possible. Perhaps I’ve even gone a bit overboard… time will tell.

Jarrod is frustrated because he’d rather stay home and be safe, but his employer (a restaurant) refuses to close despite their restrictions and slow business. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before our state closes everything down and has us Shelter In Place like many other states already have.

Having to stay home and not be able to go anywhere or do anything at all (except grocery runs and walks in the neighborhood) has definitely been hard to adjust to. I think most people expected this to pass quickly, but the fact is, it will go on for many more months. All we can all do is take this one day at a time, and do all our best to stay safe and make the best of our quarantine.

SAHM Life

The life of [this] SAHM: take care of baby. Clean. Attempt (and fail) to maintain order with the teens, clean some more, take care of baby, cook, clean, take care of baby, pass out before cleaning is done (because baby doesn’t nap), repeat, daily.

Do I want to spend time with my husband? Sure… we sleep next to each other. Does that count?

Do I want to watch a TV show or movie? Sure… I read captions when I’m able to look up at the TV, and half listen to the rest through crying, talking, loud toys, gaming, and YouTube videos on cell phones.

Do I want to have a relaxing shower? Yeah… I get 5 minutes while the baby plays on the floor or while my husband is getting ready for work in the morning. Or in the middle of the night if I want to sacrifice sleep.

Do I want to eat a meal? Well yeah… I quickly shovel in whatever is baby safe for sharing while the baby is also eating, or while he’s playing or asleep for the night.

Do I want to have a date night? Hell yes…. perhaps when the baby is old enough to have a sleepover with a school friend (in years).

This is my station in life.

Some days I wonder where I am in all of this. When do I get to fulfill some dreams or do what I want? But… I adore my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Felix is 1!

We made it!  Felix is a year old!  He has grown and changed so much since he was born.  For the first six months of his life I didn’t think we’d make it to this day, but we sure did.  Nowadays, Felix is a very busy boy.  He is working very hard in physical therapy, building up those muscles that it takes to crawl and eventually walk.  He crawls a little bit at a time once or twice per day, so he DOES know how.  But he finds it easier and faster to army crawl on his belly to get to what he wants.  He likes to use his walker toys to pull himself up onto his knees or his feet.  But he’s not at all steady on his feet yet.  I am excited for him to learn how to use his body in these ways, but I am in no hurry.  He’s moving on his own timeline and I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance with that.  He’s healthy and happy and that’s what matters the very most.

Felix is still breastfeeding, though less these days.  He eats breakfast, lunch and supper with the family, mostly eating what we eat.  He still has some purees and softer foods because with his motor delays, he has some delays in how he eats as well.  But its getting better every day.  He loves bath time…. in fact I think anything involving water is his favorite!  He splashes and crawls around in the tub.  And when I take him to the pool at the local YMCA, he is very excited and kicks and splashes the whole time!  His other favorite part of the day is breakfast time with mommy and daddy before work.

I don’t want to jinx anything and say everything is on track with sleep… because nothing is perfect.  But for the time being things have improved.  In general he’s sleeping more at night, but still never took up napping.  I’ve accepted that as well, and quite enjoy him being awake and keeping me company during our days.  He’s so fun, smiley, and really likes helping me do household chores and having me play with him in his playroom.  He also has a couple of friends for play dates now.

Some things coming up for Felix: he had an eye exam and they found he needs glasses.  Hopefully that will help inspire him to keep working on crawling.  We’re hoping if he can see further and more clearly, he will want to explore his surroundings more.  Also, when he stands, he has a tendency to turn his feet over and stand on his toes and the tops of his feet with his toes curled under.  The PT says that is what some kiddos do for stability, though it is terribly counter-productive.  So he’s getting SureSteps (braces) for his feet that will go with shoes and help create the habit of standing on his feet properly.  He is expected to need them for only about 6 months, since he’s so young.  Also, since we’ve been working so hard on large motor skills, we’re going to get new evaluations for fine motor skills and feeding.  He’s making wonderful progress, so we expect a little extra help will help him get caught up all the quicker.

This has been a challenging, but exciting year.  I’m very happy with how far we’ve come, and where we are now.  I’m excited to see what the next year brings and beyond.  Felix has become such a wonderful little boy.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.

Felix is 10 Months Old!

Felix is 10 months old today. He is so happy these days, and is a delight to spend our days with.

We are doing better with routines now, and I think that has helped him understand when bedtime is. Sleeping remains a struggle, and naps are nearly nonexistent, but we’re going to continue to work on it.

The developmental specialist said we should try to re-introduce dairy into Felix‘s diet, and so far it’s going well in small quantities. He is eating a pretty wide variety of foods now, and is finally starting to try and feed himself.

He is not crawling yet, though he is getting closer every day. His physical therapist reduced his visits to every other week rather than every week because he’s making such wonderful progress. She said she anticipates him being caught up with his peers by age 2. We are just all so happy that he is getting caught up, and that he has passed his fussy first several months.

I can’t believe we are nearing one year old! Onward and upward!

Step 2?

Felix had his follow-up with his developmental specialist last week. All genetic tests came back normal. Imaging and other tests were normal except reflux, which we already knew. Great and consistent progress and improvement during physical therapy. So Dr. Noble said unless we wanted to chase any genetic anomalies, he wouldn’t see him back for another 6 months. Which we chose not to do since he seemed very optimistic and not at all worried any longer.

Things Felix has left to do in November:

• Othamologist

• Audiologist

• GI Specialist

• Neurologist and EEG

• Continued physical therapy

No new specialists beyond November at this point. We may have follow-ups, and of course continued physical therapy, but nothing more referred by Dr. Noble. We’re making progress!

Felix is 8 Months Old!

Felix is 8 months old today! In the last month he has really blossomed. Whatever funk he was in for the first 6 months of his life has definitely passed.

Things he does now:

• Looks at faces, makes eye contact, smiles, and has stranger anxiety.

• Rolls front to back, back to front.

• Reaches up and out with his hands to grabs objects.

• Sits for a few moments at a time, with improvement every day.

• Stays on hands and knees for a few moments with help.

• Squeals, babbles, and razzes all the time.

• Enjoys bath time (and swimming at the Y).

• Likes playing games and singing, like “Pat-A-Cake” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

• Actively and happily participates in physical therapy at appointments and at home.

• Drinks breastmilk on demand, and eats puréed baby food twice a day.

• Sleeps in his crib (no longer his bassinet) for longer stretches of time at night. But still doesn’t nap well.

• Still prefers the outdoors.

I’m sure there are a few things I’m missing. But these are all big changes that came all at once. He also got his 6 month shots today since he was on a delayed schedule due to his previous CMV infection. At his appointment he weighed 18 lbs 1 oz, and was 27 inches tall.

Now if I could just get him to smile for a picture, it would be really helpful for these monthly updates. Haha!

Cars, Kids and the Concert

I just wanted to follow up my previous posts with some updates. First of all, it turns out we were fully insured. Insurance deemed the car a total loss and paid us out. We were able to find a minivan at a reasonable price and are getting some repairs done Friday to make it last us a while. Felix continues to do amazing at physical therapy except for the last couple days, when he just wants to be held all the time. I’m sure a big part of that is the fact that he’s teething. He’s gotten one tooth and the second one isn’t far behind.But anyway, Felix can roll front to back and back to front now, and when he does the exercise when he’s on his tummy on his boppy, he’s getting strong enough to push himself off and over it. He’s also really been studying faces lately. I’m so proud of his progress.

Andy got his braces off today! He had them for 3.5-4 years, with a jaw surgery during that time. He said it feels weird and a little sore. But he’s happy.

Evan had court today to review his court ordered outpatient committal. The judge dismissed the case, saying Evan was no longer a threat to himself or others. But he’s gotten 2 criminal charges and has violated his probation (recently). I told him the ruling may seem like a good thing, but what it really means is that now when he decides to act a fool, he can’t hide behind mental health. He will just be treated like a criminal. He faces a judge about his second criminal charge soon.

Jarrod had a really good time at Riot Fest despite his shitty adventure on the way home. He got to see a couple bands in particular he was very excited to see: Guided By Voices and Ween. I’m glad he was able to go and enjoy himself, even if I was unable to join him. Hopefully I get so fortunate as to be able to go to a concert soon.

Left: Guided By Voices — Right: Ween, photos by Jarrod

I finally saw a doctor about a few things I had been avoiding and/or putting off. Nothing too serious. I’m not going to go into any of that right now because Felix is starting to wake up from his mini nap and I don’t have time to type about it. I’ll update again soon.