Friday, January 30, 2009

Bad news / GOOD news!

Yesterday, we got the "official" letter from our insurance company stating that Sean's speech therapy would not be covered. I kind of expected this, but it was still upsetting. Although we are not out of options yet, it means we have a $747.00 bill to Carle Clinic that is now our sole responsibility. Yippee. But that's the bad news... it could be SO much worse.

The GOOD news is today we met with the State to see if Sean would qualify for services for the Early Intervention Program (birth - age 3). We met with the case worker assigned to us last week, but still had to have Sean evaluated by a Developmental Specialist and a Speech Therapist. In order for him to qualify, he needs to be at least 30% below in one of the areas.

They spent about an hour with Sean doing basically what we had done at Carle, but a little more in depth. They were wonderful! The Speech Therapist did say that based on the ST report at Carle from November, she can tell he's already made improvements. She mentioned that since he's been a little behind in other motor skills (crawling, walking, etc.), it doesn't surprise her to see that he is a little behind in his talking - since it too is a motor skill (fine motor). I had never thought of it that way. She right away asked about his heavy breathing (tonsils - again, another reassuring moment that we are doing the right thing by getting them removed). At the end, she said she is confident that 90% of his speech delay is due to the enlarged tonsils, so once they are out, we should notice a BIG difference. She also said that by age 3, we will probably never know that there was a speech delay.

So, the good news. He does qualify... sort of. He did not qualify from the Developmental Specialist's side (GOOD)! And technically, it's a stretch for him to qualify from the ST side, but they are going to allow it! Like at Carle, the therapist today said from a comprehension side, he's at about 30 months, and from the expressive side, he's at about 18-21 months (an improvement in two months from Carle who had him at 15-18 months). 18 months puts him at the 30% below mark, but technically since it's 18-21, he's over. However, the ST said she can make it work! She actually gave us the option of whether or not we wanted to do it - she thought that he would probably catch up shortly after the surgery. Jamie and I, however, decided we would like to try it for a little bit. So come March (after the surgery and recovery time), we'll try it for six months and then re-evaluate. The nice thing is they will come to his daycare for the sessions! WOO-HOO!!!

The interesting thing that she mentioned is that most of his words that sound a little off (ie, boo/moo is doo or goo) is that most of the words he struggles with are words that require him to close his mouth (m's, b's, etc.). She said most likely this is because with his mouth open just a little even, he's getting air. Since closing his mouth restricts even more oxygen (and remember, he doesn't have much moving through because of his tonsils), he says them in a way he doesn't have to close his mouth. This is why he doesn't say MOMMY!!!!! She also said that we have a very loving, sweet little boy who is right on track, that we should have no worries, and he's further along than we think.

We are grateful and relieved to have this part over with. Now, we look onward to the 13th. We'll take it one day at a time from there.

Happy Birthday Kelly!!!!

Hope you have a wonderful day chica! Love ya - Jamie, Jenn and Sean

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sean's surgery

We just got back from Sean's ENT appointment. He was SO good, bless his heart. He loved sitting in the exam chair - no clue why, but it did go up and down! ;-) The doctor (Dr. Lipps) was very, very nice (he came recommended by my sister and a co-worker) and was great with Sean. We explained our concerns and he went to take a look. When he grabbed the tongue depressor, Sean was "talking" and he happened to see his tonsils - even without holding down his tongue. The next thing out of the doctor's mouth was, "Wow! Well, I'll go get Brenda (the nurse) and we'll get him on the operating schedule!"

Dr. Lipps said that he really does need this done and that it will help him SO much. He said he would eat better, breathe better, sleep better and definitely talk better. All the same things we heard from Sean's pediatrician and speech therapist. I was shocked that there was no "pleading" on our end or convincing that this would help Sean, which makes me feel better in our decision - he must really need it. For a brief moment I was mad at myself thinking why did we wait so long to get him in, but apparently they don't do the surgery before the child is 2 years old, so we couldn't have done it sooner anyway.

He will meet with a speech pathologist at 2:45 on February 10 to make sure that the surgery won't impact his speech (standard procedure), and then with the doctor at 3:15 for his pre-op visit. His surgery is scheduled for Friday, February 13 (at Provena) and he will probably be home about one week. We won't know the time of the surgery until the day of our pre-op, but the order of surgeries is based on age, so he should be one of the first (since the patient can't eat after midnight). I'd be lying if I said Jamie and I aren't nervous as heck, but we do think this is what's best for Sean.

Anyway, if you would please keep Sean in your prayers, and maybe Mommy and Daddy too, we'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My little baby is not a little baby anymore. :-( Monday he was officially moved to the two year old class room. TWO YEAR OLD! No more Infant I, Infant II, Toddler. Why am I so sad about that?

His new room (of which I also very much like his new teacher) is very different. They eat a little later, nap a little later (although come to find out, Sean wasn't napping until a little later in the Toddler room, so there is no change for him there), work on using a cup - WITH NO LID - (yeah, I had to laugh at the teacher on that one... good luck was all I could muster up), and... POTTY TRAINING! Of course they don't force it on the children, just practice when they are ready.

By now you are probably wondering the title of the post. Well, yesterday, SEAN WENT PEE ON THE POTTY! Yes, I am officially one of those parents who is telling people, with excitement, that her child pee'd on the potty! Apparently if it is diaper changing time and the kiddo is dry, they take them to the little, itty-bitty potty and have them try... and HE DID IT! I'm so proud but so sad all at the same time. Where did my baby go? Is he gone forever? I know he'll always be my "baby", but for some reason it's just hitting me hard today. When you ask him where Mommy's baby is (referring to the actual baby in my "belly"), he smiles and points to himself. Well, at least HE knows he'll always be my baby! :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank you Heather!

Today I had lunch with my friend Heather. She had a little gift for Sean and the baby (that she MADE). It was SO sweet (and darn cute) I have to post it for you to see. THANK YOU HEATHER!!!

Tonsils - view with caution

The picture below is a picture of Sean's tonsils. Do not view this if you have a sensitive stomach.

We meet with the ENT on Thursday to see if he needs to have them removed, but as you can see from the picture, they are seriously enlarged. Please excuse the food in his mouth. I tried to get it out, but couldn't get a picture of the tonsils otherwise!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Ring" around the rosie

Sean learned this at daycare (quite frankly, the song kind of creeps me out). Sometimes we "ring", but other times we just stand there smiling until it's time to "fall down". Either way, it's awfully cute!!! I love the giggle at the end - Enjoy!

Winter weather

You know that when you live in the Midwest, especially Illinois, you can expect crazy weather. Well, most of you know - and lived - the BITTER cold we had this week. Temperatures at -21, and windchills in the -40's. It was so cold that Sean would start fussing the minute the air hit his face. BUT, would he wear a hat or gloves to help prevent the intense cold? Oh no, just the hood to his winter coat (which I guess is better than nothing)... until today that is. Sure, now that's it's 30 degrees, and we didn't leave the house at all today, let's wear our new winter gear!!! Kids - gotta love 'em!

The many faces of Sean - part 2

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The many faces of Sean

I have NO idea what brought on the pictures you are about to see, but this is Sean's new face. Now, every time he sees the camera and the orange light that goes off when you press the capture button down just a little, he freezes and makes this face. Gee, where would he get the cheese factor from???

Random cuteness of Sean

Here are some random pictures from this week of Sean. From eating a cookie to taking a bath, to being "shocked" (at least that's the look on his face... but I don't know how shocked HE can be to see Mickey...), he's one cutie!

Some fun with Mommy's scarf (don't you just LOVE this weather?!?)

Monday, January 12, 2009

23 week OB check / Sean's tonsils / Speech

Today was my 23 week check up and things are going great! I've gained a total of 10 pounds, which is great since I'm over half way through my pregnancy! Honestly, the way I eat, I'm surprised it wasn't more! :-) My blood pressure is still doing great (134/62) and was even a little lower than previous visits. Since they are watching that very closely due to complications from my pregnancy with Sean, they are super pleased! Today was the first day they were able to find the baby's heartbeat instantly and without the portable u/s machine. His heartbeat is the highest it's been at 153 - nice and strong!

The nurse practitioner said everything looks great, so my next appointment will be my 28 week check. This is the icky one - more blood work, glucose test (evil) again, etc. But, I can handle it! :-)

Onward to Sean... today we met with his pediatrician to have his tonsils checked. Since Jamie had the same thing as a child (but didn't get his removed until he was 20), she said that was a pretty good indication that Sean's probably would not decrease in size. Usually they wait until they are over 11 (if the child is not having chronic infections) to see if they decrease. But, since there is a family history and it may be impacting his speech, she is referring us to ENT. We will meet with that doctor on January 29th. Of course we don't want him to have surgery (honestly, the thought of it brings me to tears), but if it will help his sleeping, breathing, talking, eating, etc., I think we have to proceed.

In the meantime, we are in the process of trying to get Sean's speech therapy covered by insurance (LONG story), so that is on hold. I'm praying that all will work out - either through the state or through our insurance - so that he can get the help he needs. At $210 a visit (and he was going once a week) for 6 - 8 months, we HAVE to get this covered. We appreciate any prayers for him! :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spaghetti night

Ah yes, Sean's favorite night. SPAGHETTI! Check out these pictures and I'm sure ou can see why. Oh, and don't bother cutting the noodles into bite size pieces... what fun is it if you can't *slurp* the noodle up! ;-)

Sean first speech appointment

Today was Sean's first speech therapy appointment. Unfortunately, we don't get the same therapist who did our initial consult (long story), but I'm thrilled that the new therapist is wonderful as well! Sean took to her right away. The session went very quickly - only 45 minutes (with the last five minutes allowed for the therapist to type up a summary and assign us "homework"). Of course right in the middle of the session, my once-every-two-day-pooper, pooped. That was lovely. A quick change later and we were back in the session.

I finally got a copy of the evaluation that was had done in November. Here are the highlights:

Language Comprehension Equivalency: 21-24 months
Language Expression Equivalency: 15-18 months

"Language comprehension is solid at 21-24 months with skills scattered up to 27-30 months. Language expression is solid at 15-18 months, with 50% of skills at 18-21 months, and one skill in the 24-27 month age range (uses action words)."

"Sean smiled frequently. He interacted well with the clinician and played with a variety of toys appropriately. He enjoyed looking at books, playing with the stacking cup, and with the barn and animals. He followed directions well, and was very cooperative. Use of eye contact, communicative intent, reciprocity, and joint attention were age appropriate."

The therapist did ask if he was congested as he was breathing very heavily. My answer was no, he has always breathed very hard. Every pediatrician (our regular dr., ones on call, etc.) have all commented on how large his tonsils are ("golf ball size"), which probably explains why he breaths hard and snores like a freight train. Maybe that explains his love for trains??? Anyway, she mentioned that several children with enlarged tonsils have speech delays. Since they are so large, they bulge and press funny in their mouth, which gives them a funny feeling - thus making it hard for them to talk! That could explain why he understands so well, but cannot communicate. Interesting, eh? In the meantime, he'll go to speech once a week for 6-8 months and then be reevaluated.

We have an appointment with Dr. Streigel (his pediatrician) Monday to discuss what to do from here regarding his tonsils. Of course I don't want him to have surgery, but then again, if it will help him sleep better, breath better, eat better, talk better... why not!!! I'll keep you posted, but that's it for now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Onward to 2009...

Well, the holidays are over and we are getting settled in to 2009. Hard to believe another year has gone by! Jamie has been very busy lately working on getting the spare bedroom ready as Sean's new room. He made the master bedroom closet into a walk-in, and changed created a new closet in the spare bedroom - all without losing any square footage in either room! I'll tell ya, it's pretty awesome to be married to such a handy man!

This week he's working on the closet in the spare room. Once that's done, we'll get new carpet for the room, paint, trim (new) and viola! We should be ready to go! Sean got a new toddler bed and Mickey bedding for Christmas, so needless to say, his room will be all Mickey-d out! We're hoping he really likes it!