Monday, January 30, 2012


It's been a very busy January! As I've written about already, we had some visitors early in the month and we've been back and forth with Nate for all his medical stuff. But we've been doing a lot of other fun things in the meantime!

We got some snow, rare for Seattle, and it was actually enough to make a real snowman! Simon liked it, but he is clearly a Seattle kid...he didn't get that he had to wear mittens the whole time to keep his hands warm and didn't really know how to walk in the snow. And we are clearly Seattle parents--we had no snow pants, boots or waterproof mittens for him. So out he went in jeans over pj bottoms, rainboots and knit mittens.

And in a brilliant move, I bought a used pair of snowbibs for Simon on the day that all the snow Simon wore them to play the keyboard inside. And he must have known he looked cute in these--he handed me my camera and made me take pictures!

Nate and I chose to ignore the snow and stay inside for a few days...and we took naps.

Speaking of Nate, he is smiling more and more, both in response to our smiles and on his own, at his favorite toys. Here are a few of his sweet smiles.

And I have to mention Nate's hair...the classic infant fauxhawk:

And this was exciting--Simon went to his very first kiddie birthday party! His friend from school, Jack, turned 3, and Dad took Simon to the party. They had cupcakes, facepainting and Simon had a great time!

So that was our January! But before I sign off...I had to share one last look from Nate, who likes to try and focus on the geometric pattern on the back of my phone when I take his picture.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nate Update

Quick update--last time I wrote about Nate's potassium issues, we had had a high but normal reading (5.6). Well, we had it checked this past Saturday and it was really high again, as high as it was when we had to have the EKG (6.4).

We went back to the hospital on Tuesday and they took blood and urine at about the same time to compare levels. Levels in his blood were high but not as high (5.9) and it turns out that he has low potassium in his urine, which means his kidneys aren't getting rid of it like they should and it's staying in his blood instead. So it looks like we have at least narrowed it down to a problem with his kidneys, although why this is happening is still a mystery.

The kidney people at Children's Hospital are concerned but not overly alarmed, so the plan is to go back on the medication and check his levels weekly for a month. If they stay relatively normal or possibly even drop off, we will relax a little. If they get high again, we will start seeing the kidney team at Children's.

Poor Nate, he has been to Children's Hospital about 12-15 times in the last 6 weeks, had about 10 blood draws, 3 urine tests, an upper GI and kidney ultrasound. I really hope this just fades away, I'll keep updating here about this as we get through this month.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quick hits

Just a quick couple of videos for the diehard Snate (that's Simon+Nate, of course) fans out there...

Another version of the ABC song from Simon, this time in the hardcore style.

And just some sweet Nate interaction.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Simon learns his ABCs

Simon is learning his ABCs and loves to perform the ABC song.

Here he performs a version on the guitar and piano simultaneously.

And here he plays a guitar-only version, and at the end shows that all this fun does actually help him learn his letters!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nate at 2 months

I've posted a lot recently about what's going on with Nate, so I'll keep this short and sweet. I do have to say....2 months already?!? Unreal. This has been our best week so far, with very little crying, reflux and screaming. He's so sweet when he's happy and feeling well, and loves to smile at me. He is getting really good at reaching for and batting his toys on the bouncy seat and you can really see him concentrating when he wants to accomplish something.

He and I are getting out of the house frequently--we are going to 2 differents meetings each week for parents with babies 3 months old or less, we are seeing friends for coffee and playdates and just generally accomplishing more these days. We also nap together most days--he loves cuddles and I love nothing more than curling up with him in bed and snoozing for a bit.

Anyway, without further ado...the 2 month picture (which we did share already with a few people, before deciding it would be the official shot. But how could we possibly beat this?) We also have his 2 month check up on Monday, we will find out then his current length and weight. Finally, happy birthday to Grandma, who shares this "birthday" of Nate's.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

interacting with nate!

check him out...I caught a coo AND a smile on video!

January Visitors

It's halfway through January already and we have been busy with some visitors.

First, we had Grandpa Renehan come in over the New Year to meet Nate and celebrate Christmas. He did come in at a hectic time with all of the Nate stuff and was a big help through some of our appointments and emergencies. He came with me for Nate's second blood draw and that night when the dr called to tell us to go to the ER for an EKG, he gamely took on the daunting task of feeding Simon dinner and putting him to bed. Simon did not take it easy on Grandpa, and after getting him to eat some yogurt and blueberries (a successful Simon dinner, btw) they started a pretty intense bedtime battle that lasted a couple of hours, involved extended vacuuming and ended successfully with Simon in bed. Thanks Dad!

When we weren't focused on Nate's medical stuff, we did lots of fun things too. We took the whole crew to the Children's Museum and out to breakfast for the first time (quickest meal ever eaten:) We got Simon a haircut and Matt and Grandpa took him to the beach at Golden Gardens and the Aquarium. It was a fun few days and we enjoyed having the help and company!

And just a few days after Grandpa left, Aunt Karyn came in to help for the better part of a week. As usual, she was a huge help in getting us through each day and came with me to a couple of Children's Hospital visits, which I really appreciated. She too became a pro at soothing Nate and keeping Simon happy. Her time with us was low key-- we didn't get out anywhere major but I did do things like take showers at will (!!), take naps and eat meals during the day. Those are some big achievements on maternity leave with a tough baby!

Here are some pictures from our 2012 so far, thanks for all of the help!

Simon visiting with the otters at the aquarium:
out to breakfast with Grandpa:
Dad with his boys:
Aunt Karyn with Simon...:
...and Nate:
The four of us:
Nate modestly posing mid-diaper change:
Grandpa feeding Nate:
Simon on the beach at Golden Gardens:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Nate update

The last time I updated about Nate's issues we were focused on his reflux and his crying/screaming episodes. The upper GI did show reflux and delayed gastric emptying, which means that the contents of his stomach empty slower than average. But this isn't all that uncommon and the treatment options remain the same. The two medications we have him on now seem to be helping to some extent--we have good days and bad days but overall he is happy more of the time than he used to be, which is great.

Unfortunately, we did have a scary issue come up in the blood tests that we had done the same day as the GI. A few levels in his blood were elevated, including potassium, which can begin to affect heart function if it gets too high. So we repeated the tests the next week, with the hopes that the high levels had been a fluke. But they were still high, and we got a call from the pediatrician on the evening of Friday the 30th that we needed to go to the ER at the Children's Hospital right away for an EKG to make sure Nate's heart was functioning correctly. It was pretty scary, and Matt and I quickly left with Nate--thankfully Dad was in town for a visit and was able to stay home with Simon. (more on their dinner and bedtime adventures in a later post).

Nate's heart looked fine, which was a huge relief, but they took a third round of blood and the potassium remained high. We were sent home and the next day Nate started a medication to hopefully lower the potassium while we started on a series of blood tests over the next 2 weeks to try and identify an issue while constantly watching his levels.

We have been to Children's for blood draws (all from the vein, so sad to watch when they do it) about 7 or so times, and have crossed all kinds of things off the list as causes of this elevated potassium. We have stumped the partners at our pediatrician's office, the metabolic specialists, the GI team and the kidney specialists, even after a kidney ultrasound today. No one knows why this is happening.

So as of today, with his potassium being finally within the normal range (albeit the highest number that is still considered normal), we are stopping his potassium medication and starting to test once a week rather than every other day or so. He is so healthy in every other way--he has gained over 5 pounds since birth, is now eating well, meeting milestones and seems strong. We will have to stay very aware of his health and check these levels, but the hope is that this is just a strange fluke that isn't the result of something serious.'s been a scary few weeks, and I hope we can move past them. He's almost 2 months old and as much as I hate to say it, I'm not sad to be past these tough couple of months. With his recent developments in smiling and playing a little, I'm excited to interact more with our sweet boy in the months and years to come!

Monday, January 9, 2012


It's odd to go back to taking videos of early infant milestones...and I already feel bad for not taking enough pictures and videos of Nate! Anyway, despite lots of medical stuff going on with him, which I will update on soon, he is meeting all of his first milestones: we have seen some early smiles, he is tracking toys with his eyes, turning to familiar voices and starting to think about reaching and grasping. His bouncy seat in particular gets him very excited and he puts all his energy into playing with it!

Meanwhile, Simon is meeting new milestones too...although we need a little help identifying what you might call this new one...