Cutest Blog on the Block

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eating right...

A while back, I checked out a book, one of a series, from our library called Eat This, Not That. Have you seen these books?

There is a ton of info in these books! Go to Amazon and check them out. They sell them at Walmart, too. I try to be careful about what we eat, but I was blown away as I read some of the nutritional info of the foods that I am buying for my family. Yikes! The fat... the sugar... the sodium! I have never really worried about sodium all that much, but I have been thinking about it more lately, especially for Zach. He's currently on Lasix for some pulmonary vascular congestion, so maybe I need to pay a little more attention...

The Funky Heart got my attention today with a post about "Low sodium" salt and that got me thinking... how much salt should Zach be getting? I haven't taken the time to Google it and I can't seem to remember to ask our cardiologist about it (my brain usually turns to mush during appointments and I can't remember a thing --- need desperately to make a list). Maybe I'm worrying about something that is not really a problem, since our doctor hasn't given us any diet restrictions. In any case, does anyone have any guidelines that they use? Any good recipes? Other tips of what to get a picky preschooler to eat?

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to prepare...

Today Zach overheard me telling my mom on the phone that we had to go to the hospital on April 6th. His little brow wrinkled up with worry and he said, "We goin' to da hopital? Who gonna lay down?" (I think he was asking who was going to get poked and prodded?) He was obviously starting to get anxious about it and he put both his hands over his eyes. I reassured him that Mommy and Daddy were going to be right there with him and that it would be a lot like when he goes to see Dr. Raunikar (our cardiologist). I told him that they would check his oxygen and blood pressure and weight and listen to his heart. I promised that we would get to see some old friends --- Dr. Bradley (maybe) and Dr. Bandisode. I told him that we would meet some new friends, as well. I told him that maybe we would get to meet the same people that had taken care of Derrick and Zeb and Anna Grace, our local heart zipper friends.

My heart breaks to think about what he will have to go through in just a couple of weeks. I get nervous as I think about talking about the procedure more with him as the time draws nearer. At the Palmetto Hearts conference that we attended in February (which was wonderful!), the Child Life specialist from MUSC spoke about this very topic. I was surprised to learn that it is best to begin preparing your preschool child only about 2-3 days prior to the procedure/surgery. Because preschoolers have no concept of time --- Zach's famous for asking, "Am I gonna take a nap tomorrow or later?" --- talking about surgery that is weeks away will only cause them anxiety. Makes sense. On the other hand, she told us that it is not a good idea to spring it on them, either. She knew of one family that told their child that they were going to McD's but took him to the hospital instead. Not a good idea.

I did show Zach this picture from after his Glenn at MUSC.

Of course I have other pictures that I wouldn't dare show him for fear of scaring him.

For those of you with older children, how have you prepared them for procedures/surgery? What worked and what didn't with your child? I love that we can learn from one another!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Heart friends are the best!

My blog buddy, Shannon, is doing a fabulous giveaway on her blog --- click HERE to see the adorable picture frames that you can win and what you need to do to win them. While you are at it, you can check up on Shannon's adorable son, Derrick. What a cutie!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cardiology checkup

Zach had a checkup with the cardiologist this morning. Dr. R is following him closely in preparation of his upcoming heart cath on April 6 at MUSC. He did another heart cath and said that everything looks as good as it can get. His leaks are the same (not worse - PTL!), murmur sounds the same, systolic function (whatever that means) is as good as a healthy heart.

I asked about Zach's weight (he was 30.3 lbs) and if we should try giving him something to supplement his diet. He is a typical preschooler in that he eats mostly chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. He likes baby carrots w/ ranch and will eat green beans with a lot of encouragement. He loves fruit. The problem is, he doesn't drink much milk and lately doesn't eat cheese except on pizza. He does like yogurt and eats 1-2 tubes of Go-Gurt a day. He said it would be ok to try some Pediasure. He just doesn't want to overdo it because he is pleased with Zach's growth thus far and proportionally, his weight measures up to his height (no pun intended). He doesn't want him to get chunky.

One thing that he said bothered me a bit --- no, a lot. He said the heart cath would help them assess whether Zach was a good candidate for the Fontan. Not sure if he meant "right now" or "ever" and I didn't think to ask at the time. So, not having the Fontan means... what? Anyone with any insight on this, please chime in and calm this mama's nerves.

The biggest blessing of our visit with Dr. R is that he prayed with us! We circled up and held hands, Zach included, and had prayer for Zach's cath, for safe travel to MUSC next month, and for wisdom for us as Zach's parents. How precious! We are so blessed to have a wonderful, Christian doctor!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Talking about adoption

We have always wanted to be open with Zach about his adoption. There's really no point in hiding it from him... I think he'd figure it out eventually. What do you think?

We weren't hiding anything --- I often had conversations with adults about his adoption within earshot of Zach, but we really hadn't talked with Zach about adoption because 1) we didn't feel that he was at a point where he could understand and 2) we didn't feel that he could sit still long enough to try to understand.

I felt the Lord leading me to address the issue recently. So, I went a-Googling "talking to preschoolers about adoption" and wound up at Focus on the Family's site and printed out a couple of articles. This was our dinner conversation that night:

Me to Bill: I printed out these articles on talking about adoption.
Zach to Mommy: (who, by the way, is usually pretty oblivious to the conversations around him) What's adoption?
Me to Zach: Uhhh... ahhh... uhhh... Well, you are! (adopted)

You see, I wasn't quite prepared for his question at that particular moment. Bill and I continued to talk about other stuff when Zach interrupted...

Zach to Mommy: What's adoption?
Mommy to Zach: (trying to remember everything she had read in the articles) Well, adoption is when a birth mommy loves her baby enough to let someone else take care of him.

Zach thought for a moment and his eyes lit up and he said,

Zach to Mommy: So we can go to Toys R Us?
Mommy to Zach: You got it, buddy!

Preschoolers are waaaayyy more perceptive than we give them credit for, aren't they? So, adoption is now a part of our everyday vocabulary. Of course, we get a lot of looks when we are out and about and you can just see people trying to figure it out. Some people are not shy about asking if he's adopted or where he is from and I'm always excited to share about our adoption experience. 

One day Zach and I stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch. The young man behind the counter looked at Zach and said, "He mixed?" to which I said, "Excuse me?" for I hadn't understood what he was asking. When I finally realized that he was asking if Zach was biracial, I explained that no, he is adopted. Zach then piped up and said, "I not adopted!" Typical silly boy!

The young man then asked, "So is it fun to adopt?" I smiled and said, "Yes it is. It is very special."

The day of Zach's birth, 2006

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We love AWANA!

Zach started going to AWANA this year, which, in case you are not familiar, is a weekly activity where kids recite Bible verses they memorize at home, do crafts, and play games. He is a Cubbie. He absolutely loves going each Wednesday night to spend some time with Mr. Chuck, one of the workers in his class.

Zach in his Cubbie vest with Mr. Chuck

Don't you love it when you are trying to explain the wonders of God's Word to your child and it just goes right over his head? This afternoon, we were practicing Zach's AWANA verse for tonight, which comes from Matt. 28:20.
"I am with you always."

I commented on what a great promise that is from the Bible and explained to Zach that even when he lays in his bed at night (which he refuses to do by himself --- errrgh!), Jesus is there with him. He responded, "Yeah, Buzz and Woody are there, too!" OK, so I guess he's technically correct on that one...