Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Part II: Dec 25-27, Installment 1

Overcome with stocking excitement

Santa was here
Aunt B helps with the opening (check out the Grinch diaper cover!)

Uncle M and Aunt A

Facial hair: the best gift of all

Christmas Part I: Dec 22-24

First Christmas Santa hat

Fun animal shapes from Great Grandma C, Aunt K and Uncle L

After Mass on Christmas Eve

Opening presents with Grandpa T

Showing Aunt B our new toy before bed

Six month update

Monkey's visit to Brilliant Pediatrician on Monday the 22nd went very well. Monkey weighs in at 14 lbs, 4 oz and 24 inches. While we sure about the weight, we're not convinced that the height was completely accurate. At any rate, Monkey is down to the 3rd percentile for height and weight, although he did still gain from last time. This isn't surprising given our recent issues with tummy troubles and allergy diets and all of that, but we're hoping that he catches up soon.

To that end, Mrs. Z is eating pretty much everything, although she isn't drinking milk straight up (and no ice cream either). We haven't seen a dramatic increase in Monkey's fussiness (much to the contrary, actually) and the diaper that we took to the doctor's office tested negative for blood. There was some discussion at the lactation consultant and at the doctor's office about whether the small amounts of blood that were there before could have been from the acid reflux instead of a new and different food allergy, and it seems like that is a plausible scenario. So Mrs. Z is going to resume her food diary and see if there is a pattern or particularly fussy food but in the meantime eating everything in moderation. So far, we think that steak and broccoli are likely culprits. Funny how neither of them are on the allergy lists.

Shots went fine and we are scheduled for his next visit in three months unless something else happens. We are hoping that nothing does, but we can bring in some diapers to have them checked for blood and have him weighed whenever we like. We might give it a few more weeks and do that, just to see. Right now we are just happy to return to our regularly scheduled activities and focus on growing and playing and learning. He is continuing to take his Axid and in a few weeks we will start with some new and exciting solid foods to try. Having recently cleaned up some juice puke from the couch, we're not in a huge hurry to have peas all over the house. :)

Thanks again to all of you who have been so supportive while we figure this all out. We are so grateful for you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Yes, that is the sound of the season this year. Last weekend we had a sneak preview of the big day as Uncle J and Aunt M brought over their gift early. While the whole sequence of events was entirely new to Monkey, he figured out what was going on fairly quickly:

He needed a little help but was ultimately victorious in his struggle with the wrapping paper:

Thankfully, we had 4 adults to assemble the gift so that went fairly quickly (and we love Uncle J and Aunt M for NOT including batteries!). Monkey provided some invaluable assistance with the instructions (mostly en Francais)

And now we are able to fully enjoy our most excellent Christmas present (which was re-adjusted immediately following this video, so he is at the proper height now):

Thank you, Uncle J and Aunt M!

We see the Brilliant Pediatrician on Monday for shots and stuff. We'll post an update on the ongoing tummy saga after that.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Food Glorious Food

First, a clarification: We are sorry for the confusion, but our last post referenced The Godfather picking up a pregnant Mrs. Z from the floor last Christmas Eve, when Monkey was still gestating. So no new animals are on their way to the zoo at this time.

Secondly, an update: After spending a few hours this afternoon going over the allergy diet with our friend, alto section leader and dietitian K, it appears that despite all the special foods and starvation Mrs. Z hadn't been successful in eliminating all the corn from her diet. After talking it over and taking a good hard look at how things have been around here the past week, we decided that we are going to try the opposite approach to allergen elimination, where we eliminate one thing from the diet at a time. So after we made that decision, we all headed to Noble Romans and ate the most wonderful heavenly delicious amazing pizza ever created. Seriously. It was mind-blowing. We are going to take the weekend to eat normally and get some calories and energy back, and start with eliminating an allergen on Monday. We realize that this might result in less sleep, but we've found that we weren't sleeping all that well in the last two weeks anyway, and it's much easier to deal with when you can wake up and eat some FOOD.

Happy weekend to everyone!

Mass Disturbance

See this? It's our church. It's pretty awesome. We normally sit in the choir loft (to the left of the choir, on the far right of the picture) when we go to mass.

See this? This is The Godfather. He's the Don of the Altar Boy Mafia, and he takes his work very seriously. Almost nothing makes him lose his cool during the mass, not holy day pageantry or lost belts or pregnant people falling (ahem, Mrs. Z) .

Almost nothing, that is, except Monkey spitting his paci out in the middle of mass, right over the edge of the balcony and beaning a drowsy and unsuspecting parishioner on the head! The Godfather had to excuse himself to the sacristy to regain his composure and regale the sacristans and servers with the daring exploits of The Godson.

To Monkey, we say: enjoy your notoriety while it lasts. Altar Boy Mafiosi have to exhibit a certain amount of composure during mass. And by that we mean not hitting people in the head.

(We <3 you, Godfather!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Upper GI Scan

Yesterday's upper GI scan went just fine. Everything is the right shape, size and position. We did see some 'trace reflux', which was no surprise to anyone. Monkey did a great job sucking down the barium - he took that bottle much better than he has ever taken a bottle at home! When the nurse took it away to see how much he had drank, he protested loudly until she gave it back. Unfortunately, they did not send us home with a parting gift of barium to add to his bottles.

In a few hours we will be meeting with our Brilliant Pediatrician again, with a collection of dirty diapers for her to test. We are expecting her to find blood as they did at Prestigious Children's Hospital. Also, we expect Monkey to flirt outrageously with her, as he always does. We'll be going over everything and talking about diets and allergies and all of that. Hopefully we'll feel like we're getting somewhere with this when we're done.

Thanks to everyone for thinking of us. We appreciate it!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Goodbye, Pumpkin Pie

We saw the pediatric gastroenterologist today, and it was...quite illuminating. Monkey has been diagnosed with a protein allergy. As the doctor explained it to us, there are some babies whose intestines are a little less mature than others. That means that a higher percentage of proteins from what they eat (or in Monkey's case, the things that Mrs. Z eats) goes into their bloodstream. These proteins can be interpreted as a foreign and dangerous substance by their body, and it sets off an immune response (allergic reaction). This causes irritation and cramping in the intestines, along with the other symptoms (fussiness, starting to eat and then screaming, hurting tummy, etc.) with which we have become oh-so-familiar.

It's difficult to figure out which proteins might be causing this reaction, given Monkey's inability to speak English and his "highly processed" diet. Statistically speaking, the usual suspects are: milk, soy, wheat, corn, eggs, nuts and seafood.

Mrs. Z is going to have to eliminate all of these from her diet for the next three or four months.


Monkey is going to take a break from the solid foods for a few weeks while we adjust to the new diet and let his gut heal a little bit. So probably around Christmas we will start again and see how it goes. We may continue the acid reflux meds for a few more weeks, but we can stop them if they aren't helping him (seems like they aren't right now). We have a follow up appointment in the spring, but if the diet changes don't work we will go back sooner. All things being equal, he will most likely outgrow this by his first birthday.

In the meantime, hopefully we will get some better sleep when his tummy stops hurting.