Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Up, Up, and Away!

Van Owen with his characteristic burp cloth/bib. If he spits up while swinging, we just root for it to happen on the backward motion!
A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law Susan and I were preparing to take the boys to get their portraits done at JCPenney. Silas and George were each specific about hats they wanted to wear and favorite toys they wanted to be photographed with, so we went in with practically a wheelbarrow of goods. When Susan asked what props we should use with Van, we both paused to think about what he had grown attachments to. Just as I was about to say that his Glo-Worm is his favorite toy, Susan jokingly pointed out that he could pose with his most familiar object of all...the burp cloth. The thought of Van wearing a grin and cozying up to his spit-up shield is hilarious for me to envision, but the lady speaks the truth. That kid is no stranger to burp cloths, which in our house are actually receiving blankets because ain't no burp cloth big enough to cover his messes.

The travails of Van's spitting up are well-documented. While BJ and I are perfectly aware that bigger problems are to be had in the world, we can't exactly say that this spitting-up business has been a walk in the park. We're talking two loads of laundry a day just to maintain a pathway in and out of the laundry room, lest the piles accumulate so high as to block the swinging door. Even his two older brothers calmly inform us, with no surprise or freaking out, of upchucks as they occur, with the exception being the time that George was the recipient of such tidings into his open, wailing mouth.  Van has ruined our favorite clothes, splashed floors in every establishment that we have patronized, and kept us on a first-name basis with Paul and Regina at Freeman's Carpet Cleaning. Despite our best efforts, carpet is hard to clean now that Van is eating so many bright colors.

Following is the record of the downward slope of Van's weight percentage through the first seven months of his life:

Date: Weight Percentage:
Day of birth, December 17: 95%
January 6: 82%
February 17: 74%
March 10: 61%
April 18: 45%
May 19: 37%
June 18: 27%
July 18: 21%
August 22: 32%

Artistic interpretation of Van's recent climb
Those numbers stink. The last line is what we're focusing on now though, and it says it all: something is finally working and he isn't losing ground anymore! We've increased his oatmeal in the morning (at his demand), and we put olive oil in many of his veggies and coconut oil in many of his fruits. A friend shared a recipe for pancakes that consist of a banana and two eggs in a food processor, then fried up on a skillet like pancake batter. He loves them and needs no teeth to consume whole baby-handfuls at a time, which is good because the little stinker still doesn't have any teeth. Spitting up can still be frequent, as many as 25 times a day or so, but nothing like before we met our good friend Zantac. It also invariably happens after breastfeeding, which supports our pediatrician's theory that solid foods will stay down better.

So I thought I would share our good news. On Friday, BJ and I took Van in for his umpteenth weight check, and this time there were practically whoops of joy when our favorite nurse declared a jump of 11 whole percentage points in the span of one month's time! We were thrilled to be heading in the right direction for the first time. What's also great is that we left that appointment within ten minutes, rather than our usual letdown of seeing that percentages have dropped and then waiting for Dr. Harmon to come in because the nurse is concerned, and then spending another 20 minutes talking with Dr. Harmon about something new to try. All in all, a thrilling day at the office of Betty Harmon!

Friends, enjoy your Tuesday. May you eat, drink, and be merry--and may all that you eat and drink not come back up for all to see. But if it does, may you be like Van and still be merry. If you'd bestow the same positive thoughts for our youngest son, we'd be tickled. 

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