Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Matthew decided he wanted to start being toilet trained ... okay he didn't quite put it like that, he just decided he wanted to use the toilet. I have been putting off that task until the summer -warmer weather, less clothing time. I expected toilet training to be quite a challenge ... one, because I'm told boys are harder to train; and two, because Matthew drinks an excessive amount, and as many of you know, pees just as excessively (we have yet to figure out a way to have less pee at nap and nighttimes so that we aren't always changing his wet bed). But as he became more and more persistent on wanting to sit on the toilet I realized I better stop putting it off and give him a chance ... although I really wasn't planning on getting very serious about it. So I dragged out the potty much to his glee and excitement and away we went.

The first morning I spent some time reading to him while he sat on the potty, but once he figured out the feeling that meant he had to head for the toilet he was quite independent and did not want to be told to sit on the potty unless he knew he had to go. I used the same trick with him as I've done with the girls ... I let him streak around and it worked just fine. By the end of the day I had a trained boy :) Ya, ya, I know it's not all that easy.

The first day he would read or play while sitting on the potty, but by the end of the day he only wanted to sit on it when he had to do his job and not waste to much time while there.

Except maybe when he's watching TV. Then it's okay to sit on the potty a bit longer ... why not? it's as good of a seat as any other.

Since he's sitting there, might as well work the system ... in one end out the other :) Not like we have to worry about his system working

I was truly amazed at how quickly Matthew caught on. I did three days of him streaking just to make sure before I put him in underwear (no pants). This was a new challenge, especially with only one arm, but he had no problem catching on to this either. We even got brave enough to try him in underwear while we went out Friday evening ... ya, not quite there yet - too many distractions, who wants to sit on a toilet when there's toys to be played with.

I should have wrote this blog post last week when I was just beaming with pride over my amazing quick boy ... but I knew that the next stage would come. As I expected we are now into the stage where the novelty has worn off. But he wanted to go on the toilet and he proved that he is quite ready for the concept ... so now he must stick to his decision to be a big boy. While we've had a few accidents, overall he is still doing well, even during outtings with lots of distractions.

Half of me looks forward to him being completely trained ... (or at least daytime trained, I don't expect night time for a long, long time with him) ... the other half is quite happy to keep him in diapers and pretend that my little boy isn't growing up. The small growing up stages are okay, but those big obvious "I'm getting big" steps just make me want to hold him and dream of ways to keep him little forever. But I promised myself that although the baby of the family, I wouldn't slow him down from growing up. It's a hard promise to keep, he's at such a wonderful stage where he's growing up, learning so much, expressing so much and at the same time he's still little enough to snuggle with and read to ... and just baby!! :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Progressing Excellently

Yesterday we were off to the hospital again to see how Matthew arm was progressing, to make sure the bones had not shifted and discuss further options of whether to put a short cast on, or a fiberglass cast , or keep the same cast. Originally I had wanted to put a short cast on because I thought that the full cast would hinder him from doing things. But then I had decided against this when I heard that the problem with these is kids pull them off ... and Matthew has already tugged at his current cast and proclaimed "stuck". So I thought maybe a fiberglass cast would be nice as it would be much lighter and easier for him to tug along. But ... as the last 10 days went by I realize that he was not the least bit hindered by the current cast so I was fine with just leaving it on if that was the decision they thought was best.

So off we went for an x-ray and appointment. Upon seeing the doctor he asked how long the cast had been on ... and then double checked with me to make sure I was sure that it had not yet been two weeks. Yes I was sure!! Apparently his arm has healed excellently and if he were a careful adult they would even consider taking the cast off at this stage. But since he's not such a careful little guy (as pictures further down will show) they would leave it on for another 10 days and then it would be well healed and ready to come off. So a total 3.5 weeks and it should come off ... that's pretty much half the time we expected. Now to be fair they did say 4-6 weeks, but I automatically just went with 6 weeks figuring I rather not be disappointed if it doesn't come off early.

So ... we're already halfway done with the cast ... and it has not hindered Matthew in the least. Matthew's little feet still go too fast for the rest of his body but his falls result in bigger oweees because we have discovered that his cast is the perfect pivot to send his face scrapping along the ground. The cast is made strong (he told me he put an extra layer of plaster on as he figured it would be needed) and thankfully hasn't broken from any of Matthew's landings on them but his poor face has some war wounds to show for his careless feet.

I decided that it would be much easier to wipe Matthew down and keep him clean if I gave him his summer haircut a bit early (much to Rob's disapproval). In the end I'm not sure it was such a good idea as cleaning up hair shavings requires showering or washing ... so in the end I'm not saving much hassle and avoidance of water ... and short hair has to be cut more often. But now that his cast is coming off earlier then expect we should be able to leave his hair until the cast comes off. We also discovered that it really wasn't that hard to shower him down since we have a removable shower head ... but I like the short hair so it works for me, and in between spray-downs it is much easier to wipe down a head of short hair.

Before and After

We ran into further problms when cutting his hair because I was not so bright and did it while his hair was dry (duh, just a blond moment). This meant hair all over ... not so bad ... until you look at the second picture and see what he's doing.

For some reason his tongue came out ... not sure if there was already hair on it that made this problem. But since he had hair on his tongue he used his hand to try wipe it off ... and his hand was under the cape ... so cape full of hair to wipe hair off tongue ... yah, not working so well. Needless to say we had a crying, unhappy boy through a good part of the process.

Almost done! We did stop part way through to try clean up his mouth ... but it was only a short-term help ... he seemed obsessed with putting his tongue out.

When we seen the doctor yesterday he said we no longer have to use a sling. Matthew was very cooperative with the sling. There were times were he would take it off and I had to pin it shut to keep it on ... but after a few days of that he just accepted that it's suppose to be on and on it stayed. He was quite excited yesterday when we removed the sling and told him he didn't have to wear it anymore.
This did make meal time a bit more difficult as now his arm wasn't protected from food by the sling and nicely tucked by his body under his big. But we quickly figured out a fix for this by cutting the end off a sock and covering his cast with that. Now he has a cast bib!!
Supper last night with Matthew wearing a mask that Marietta made for a play they did at school. He is also wearing his cast bib ... which we have since modified to include a plastic bag first and then a sock over the bag in order to keep him from dipping his fingers (and cast) in his food.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Signing Time

The Cast Is On

I must say yesterday went very well. I guess it helps when you mentally prepare yourself up for a long and awful day :)
Matthew had could not eat anything after 8am. Wouldn't you know this is the morning he decided to sleep in, and with the girls sleeping over at my parents I was none to impressed that I had to get up to wake him up to have breakfast. I shouldn't complain I still got to sleep in an hour ... but two hours would have been even nicer yet :) From 8am to 10am I kept putting clear liquids in front of him and since he loves to drink he kept filling himself up with liquid. He played so nice all morning and it wasn't until about 11:30 or so that he first asked for something. I distracted him from this by telling him we were going to go say hi to Grandma before we went back to the hospital. Having to wait for a train on the way to the hospital was again a great distraction from his constant asking for a "bobby" (bottle). I think this is the first time he's seen a real moving train ... his idea of trains is Thomas, Percy, Edward, James ...etc. And then only a minute or so after we waited for the train we could see another train beside us as we were driving. This kept him chattering about trains and seeing more trains until we got to the hospital and once there he had distractions for a bit to keep his mind off food and drink and candies.
We arrived at the hospital at 1pm and as we were registering they called down to see if we had arrived as they were ready for us. So we went straight up to the Pediatric Ward and did the paper work and routine stuff and then Matthew watched TV for a bit. By 1:40 he was again asking for juice, bobby or candy. In the end it was not until 2:30 that they came to get us because some sort of emergency came up ... but regardless it wasn't that long of a wait and he survived ... he even gained a few new toys out of the deal since I had come equiped with toys and books to keep him entertained in the lovely empty ER waiting area.
Here's Matthew hanging out in the room watching TV

The nurses entertained Matthew for a few minutes when we arrived up at Same-Day Surgery. He got stickers to put on Mackie (his teddy) and then they gave him and Mackie hair nets so they could be just like the nurses. Soon as I took the picture he ripped the hat off him and Mackie ... he wanted nothing to do with them.

It was as short quick little procedure. I think I was called into the recovery room within about half an hour. He may have only received a little bit of anesthetic but he was acting just like I expected ... hashing and throwing himself around and crying, incoherent and not really awake. This was no surprise to me as James did this almost everytime and Rebecca did too when she had an anesthetic. But just like with the other kids the nurses and docs get all worked up about it. I've talked to other parents and this seems to be pretty normal ... but not according to the nurses. In the end they were insistent it was pain causing him to cry and act out and so they doped him with painkillers ...enough to put him to sleep for a few hours. I didn't argue as I really don't know how much pain he is in and this isn't a regular occurence so a bit of extra pain killer isn't such a bad thing. Once asleep he was good and asleep and eventually we moved him from recovery back up to the ward where he continued to sleep.

Shortly after 6pm we woke him as they figured he'd otherwise sleep the whole night and I really wanted to go home. So after making sure he was able to stomach some juice and popsicle we were discharged. A stop at the drug store for some codeine and then we went to Grandma's to pick up the girls.
For the first 48 hours we have to keep Matthew's arm elevated to help keep the sweelling down. They suggested sleeping with him in order to do this. I wasn't quite sure how I would do this. Rob is away but I didn't think having in our bed would help any, so in the end we ended up sleeping in the lazyboy. It was late when we got home so we were all ready to crash. I put Matthew to sleep in his bed, finished up around the house and then at midnight I moved him to the lazyboy with me and there we (or should I say he) slept for the night. Matthew loves to snuggle by laying/sleeping on my shoulder, so it was pretty easy to just have him put his arm on my shoulder while he slept. I must have gotten some sleep for the night went faster then I expected and I was surprise when he woke for his "bobby" and diaper change that it was almost 6am ... but sleep or not I feel like I didn't get any ... I think we'll be going for a good nap today as we're gonna have to do this again tonight!! :( It's that or take the chance and possibly have to have the cast removed and put back on again :( I think I can handle another sleepless night! I'm not complaining ... these nights remind me of the many continuous sleepless nights in our past, what they mostly make me think of is "how the heck did I ever manage with no sleep". But I realize that a persons body does adjust and it's hardest at first, I also know the only reason we survived then was because we were living in survival mode, eventually we would have crashed and when we did it would have been a big crash. I am so thankful we never reached that stage and were able to be there completely and always for James.

Matthew is a true trooper. I gave him one dose of codeine last night just because and with the hope it would help him to get a good sleep. I haven't given him any sort of painkiller yet today since he seems perfectly fine. He plays without a complaint, doesn't seem the list bit frustrated by the lack of one arm. He's happy and energetic. The only thing that makes me realize that it still hurts is that he will say throughout the day "Matthew Ian fall down the stairs, Matthew Ian oweees" Sometime he'll include mommy in the sentence also.
Playing this morning. He adjusted to the mouse in his left hand just like that.

Don't you just love the brilliant expression when they're watching TV.

The cast goes up his whole arm to just below his shoulder. They need to immobilize the elbow also otherwise he can still twist his arm and this will effect the bone. We go back next week Friday to have it x-rayed and talk about whether we will put a smaller cast on. The problem with the smaller casts is that kids are able to get there hand out of them ... so although much nicer for him, not so good for long-term healing. Currently he has a heavy plaster cast. They explained that fiber-glass casts are not as giving when it comes to swelling, but that if they put another cast on it might be a fiber-glass. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what next Friday brings.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clumsy Steph

I'm clumsy, I know, I'll admit it. Although I really must say that this time it wasn't really clumsiness ... just a plain accident. But sometimes you just get this sinking feeling that if you weren't so clumsy maybe these things wouldn't happen.

Rob decided to try and fix the doorbell yesterday. So he removed the doorbell cover and went to work. Then lunch time came and next thing he was off to run a few errands etc. The doorbell remained unfixed and the doorbell cover remained on the stairway floor. I have setup the stage ... can you guess where this is heading?

So Steph is on her way down the stairs with Matthew. Most of the time Matthew is lazy and wants to be carried, this time he wants to walk. I am a few steps down and he states he wants me to hold his hand. Okay, no problem, I can do that. The rest I'm not quite sure but I'm guessing that after I turned around to take his hand I took another step down ... at which point I stepped on something and felt myself losing my balance. I just remember thing "I'm not going to fall, don't fall, get your balance, not going to fall ... falling, going to fall, let go of Matthew, don't take Matthew with you". And there I went head first on my back down 8 stairs. Unfortunately Matthew did come with me, whether I didn't let go fast enough or whether he tried harder to hang on I don't know ... but Matthew came with, 12 stairs down ... and we ended up in in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.

I banged my head the whole way down, I remember that clearly. After I realize I was going to survive my concern was Matthew who of course was crying. We (friends were visiting) picked him up and I settled in a chair to have a look at him. His cry told me he was quite hurt or very shooken up. Usually I'm a person who has trouble deciding what to do when someone is injured for fear of overreacting ... but one look at his wrist and I knew we needed to have him checked out. It was only slightly swollen, but the way he was holding it and the angle it was at didn't look good.

We applied ice while I tried to gather myself and put things together. Although I knew (from our experience with Rebecca's broken collarbone) that they only had an x-ray technician on site at Dunnville Hospital until noon on the weekends we still decided to go there, figuring they could call a tech in if necessary. It would likely still be faster then travelling and waiting at Mac.

I don't remember what time I left, but it was the same as our visit with Rebecca. We didn't even have to sit down but went straight into a room, the nurse wasn't even done taking down the details and the doctor came in. Already having heard the nurse taking details he jumped right into checking out Matthew. Seeing as the x-ray technician on call lived 30km away and it would take a bit by time she arrived he decided to put a splint on and send him home, to come back for an x-ray in the morning. His theory was that if the wrist was broken they would treat it the same way - either with a splint or a half cast - so leaving it until the next morning would be fine. I got the impression from him that he didn't think it was broken but they just had to make sure. I was back home in less then an hour.

Our amazing little boy cried pretty much from when he got hurt until when he arrived to the hospital. He cried the whole way to the hospital, breaking my heart. I just wanted to stop and hold him but I knew that wouldn't help either. We get into the hospital and he stops crying. He interacts again and does good ... does he perhaps have some of the same blood as James?!?!? The swelling went down from the ice and he seems okay. I could see him flinching and blinking back tears as the doctor checking, but he didn't make a peep ... I must say I was very proud of him. He so reminded me of James.

I thought I'd be up with Matthew throughout the night, but he did wonderful. Waking for his usually "I peed so much I need my diaper, pjs and bed changed", completely cooperating during that time as I changed his clothes. When he awoke in the morning I found him in bed with his splint off. When I told him we had to put it back on he insisted "owee all gone". So I changed the phrase to ask him "where does it hurt?" To which he replied by pointing at his wrist. "Okay, then we need to put this back on" I told him. And he obliged.

We returned to the hospital again this morning at 9am. This time without the crying. He was quite chipper and happy to walk on his own and chatter and talk. He was completely amazing for his x-ray, much to the technicians surprise. After she took the first shot she said to me "I don't need to tell you he has an injury". Nope, I knew that, I could tell by the way he was holding his arm (we were becoming concerned that maybe something was wrong with his collarbone also). The technician explained that she needed him to hold his arm at another angle but she wasn't so sure he would cooperate ... but he did without so much as a flinch or complaint.

After a bit of waiting (as the doctor and nurses chattered at the desk and we listened to their conversation knowing that there wasn't anyone else in the place that needed to be attended to) ... the doc reviewed the x-ray and came to advise me that his wrist is broken in two spots - the two major bones in the wrist (or right above the actual wrist). The one break is clean, but the other is shift up or back or something like that. We would need to go to Welland Hospital and have an Orthopedic Surgeon sedate him and reset it.

He had already contacted his buddy in Welland who was expected to go into OR later in the morning, so if we hurried we could get this fixed before that. Off we went to Welland. After waiting for a bit (funny how the doc appeared right after I went back to admitting and asked if the doc was in OR) ... the surgeon seen Matthew. What the doctor in Dunnville failed to tell him was that Matthew had had breakfast. Breakfast means they would not do an anesthetic ... grrrr ... this after sitting in the waiting room for an hour telling Matthew he couldn't have anything to eat or drink. Now we have to return again tomorrow to have a cast put on. The worst part being that we have to wait until 3pm to have it done (but be there earlier just in case), and if OR is busy we'll have to wait longer yet ... but all that means no food after 8am. I haven't updated the blog for a long time on Matthew (I've been meaning to, really, just never seem to get around to it), but one big, wonderful, amazing change in Matthew is the fact that he loves to eat now (and he's a very happy fellow now too!)!! And when he's not eating he's drinking ... he drinks and drinks ... and pees and pees!! Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to tomorrow, it's going to be a long day).

At the same time, as awful as I feel that this happened, I remain thankful that it's not more serious and especially that there was no head injuries. Not to say my head wasn't sore last night, but given how often I have headaches I can handle an self-inflicted one. Today I am quite sore, espeically my neck and strangely my upper legs, with some lovely sore brusies on my butt/lower back area. As well I pulled a liagament in my thumb ... least the ER doctors figured that's what it is ... it's not broken anyways, but it sure hurt by this morning (funny I didn't really notice it hurt until bedtime last night). Guess we'll have a nice reminder for the next weeks of why it's not a good idea to leave things on the stairs.

Matthew's splint and icing the wrist. I couldn't figure out what he was babbling about this morning when he kept talking about beans and corn ... but when I got the "ice" out I realized what he was trying to say.

Dunnville ER lacks the toys and entertainment to keep a child happy while waiting ... but that doesn't matter since you don't usually have to wait there. Welland ER on the other hand had a nice (haha) children's playarea ... check it out

See all the lovely toys and entertainment there. Don't you love the provided seating!!!!!!! We we seen the nice empty playarea we just went and sat in the waiting room and I entertained everyone else by trying to keep Matthew distracted from asking for juice. But after I took Matthew to the bathroom to changed him I noticed the TV in the corner of the playarea ... anything to distract him from asking me for juice!! So we found Treehouse and spread our coats out and there he lay until we seen the doctor. I know to bring entertainment with for our likely long wait tomorrow.

I'm sure I'll have more photos as a follow-up in the next day or so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Those little fingers figure things out so quickly.

In January I figured Matthew was old enough to begin tinkering on the computer for a bit. The girls loved a certain Crayola colouring program at his age and so I started him on that. It's a pretty safe program for him to just click around and not do much damage. It's great because it tells him the colours he's clicking on or the letters or numbers he's keying in. I will never forget how Marietta learned her colours off this program. I still remember sitting at the table on the farm having snack time and we asked Marietta what the colour was of a certain object was. She stood there and pondered for a bit, then suddenly ran away. Before we could call her back we heard the computer and the words cyan", "magenta". Promptly she returned to the table to tell us the colour of the object was "magenta". :)

After a couple days the girls were trying to tell Matthew where to click and I reminded them that he had just figured out how to click and he didn't know how to direct his mouse and click at a designated spot yet. A couple days later I heard a very common sound (this game has gone through a few kids in our house) as Matthew was playing on the computer: "erase or explode a picture" and then another click and "kaboom". Knowing that his colouring picture had just disappeared by this act I went to put a new picture up for him to colour assuming that he had just accidently exploded the picture. As I walked away I heard "erase or explode a picture" and then another click and "kaboom". Hmmm ... coincidence?? Let's try this again. Again as I walk away I hear "erase or explode a picture" and then another click and "kaboom". Definitely not a coincidence. It only took him a couple days and he had quite masters how to direct his mouse to do exactly what he wanted. Unbelieveable how fast these kids catch on to something that you would think would take some time to figure out and get their fine motor skills to coordinate.

Although his attention span isn't very long (which is just fine) Matthew enjoys his computer time each day.