Preschool – First Week Update

Jack has officially finished his first week of preschool and I am happy to report that he is loving it! He is now only giving a whimper as he enters the classroom and the teacher has told us that it only lasts until he sees the first kid in class. Then he is all smiles until he is picked up.

This week, they are learning about boxes – what they can be used for and where they are found. He is also enjoying to paint, color and has also started using safety scissors. I was horrified at first that he was an appropriate age to be using scissors, but I guess he is my grown up boy now.

He also had his first picture day on Thursday of last week so I can’t wait to see what gremlin of a smile he will be wearing. They’re going on the photo wall either way.

But Jack will have to wait a whole week before he is able to return back to school… this little boy has pink eye!

Jack’s First Day of School

Today fulfilled a dream which Jack has been talking about for weeks – the first day of school. A chance for him to play with other kids and learn in a group environment with his peers.

Though we were originally trying to get Jack enrolled in a medically sensitive preschool program, he was too healthy and developmentally caught up to be accepted. Rather, he was accepted into a mixed class with both typical kids and kids with developmental delays.

All his doctors agreed that he was healthy enough to be in a class with other kids during the flu season. Though there is risk of him getting sick and possibly spending time on oxygen, it will be valuable for him to be introduced into a group of his peers.

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The first day of school went just as I expected, he ran into the front doors with excitement. We checked out his cubbie and put his new backpack and raincoat inside.

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All the kids start the day with a bathroom break and washing their hands and Jack would be not be an exception on his first day. As he turned to follow the teacher to the bathrooms he realized that we were not hot on his trail and he turned to instruct us to follow. When he realized we were actually trying to sneak off, the flood gates opened and he was beside himself. In an attempt to keep the progress and divert Jack’s attention, the teacher turned Jack and guided him down the hall; Jack protesting the whole way.

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I was really upset by the time we reached the car and wanted to go back And rescue him, but I knew that by the end of his two and a half hour class, he would be loving it, he just needed a little time to adjust.

Luckily for me and my nerves, Jack has a cousin who works at the school as a teacher. He checked in on Jack during snack time and let us know the update…Jack was eating his snack and loving it. Jack reported that he was having fun and the teacher confirmed that Jack had quickly made himself at home and was having fun with the other kids. Thank goodness for cousins!

When I went to pick him up from school, He was eager to see me at the door but immediately told me about the fun he had playing with the kids. He had a” great time”.  The teacher let me know that he was a happy boy and played well and even stayed in his chair for the majority of circle time.

I think tomorrow may be a little more smooth…or so I pray.

A Jack Update

A little update on the happenings in the Roettgers house.

Jack has been healing nicely since his three-day stay in Children’s in late March/early April. It turned out he had a bronchial virus and just needed a couple of days to rest. A lot of sleep and some oxygen supplementation did the trick. We have only have one other time where his oxygen saturation dropped but it was only for an hour and he was back up and running with no other symptoms.

In May, I started traveling a lot for work. I like it for the most part so it’s okay. I hate the part where I’m away from my family, but I guess you can’t have one without the other. I would use that as an excuse for my lack of posting, but we all know that’s not my issue… We also took a family trip to Orlando for a week. Jack had a blast running around the condo pool, we took a one day trip to Clearwater Beach, took a winery tour (which really made the food scientist in me happy), and spent one day at Sea World. Jack was beside himself at Sea World; exploring all the new and amazing animals and walking in the masses of kids on their family vacations.

On June 10th, Jack had a three-part surgery at Cincinnati Children’s. He had the screws in his left hip removed, had an inguinal hernia repaired and a routine ML&B. He did so well, Jack was released from the hospital later that day. All three of us were so happy that we didn’t have to spend another night in the hospital. Cincinnati Children’s, you do amazing work in saving children but your furniture could be an effective form of torture. Your seats in the same day surgery waiting room are no better. I feel that we have clocked enough hours for a Temperpedic.

July has brought a bunch of parties which Jack was more than willing to attend. Jack is coming into his own as a lover of his child peers and is even showing an interest in sharing, as long as that means the other kids want to share in a game that requires a ball.

Since Jack’s hip screw removal (about 6 weeks), Jack has becoming a great walker. He has taken a great interest in golf and baseball and is improving both swings.

Until next time, here is a little video of Jack perfecting his gold swing with his deluxe plastic golf set from Wal-Mart.

Back in the Clink Again

We have found ourselves back at Children’s Hospital again.

Jack has been fighting a little of a cold since this past Thursday and had been moving a little slow. Last night, he was laying on my lap on the couch and taking one of his many short cat naps when Matt and I noticed that he was working really hard to breathe. We plugged him into the pulse-ox to measure his blood oxygen concentration and received the low number 88% (100% is ideal). That was enough of a concern since pneumonia could really hinder this little guys progress. So it was off the ED for us.

Once we arrived at Children’s, we were taken back to the trauma department; they don’t mess around with a little guy who is not getting all his needed oxygen. We was hooked up to oxygen and the tests started. They tested him for the flu, RSV and a handful of there bacterial infections. They also took two x-rays to determine if there was pneumonia.

We spent the ceremonial 3 hours waiting in a small, glass room; watching mediocre cop shows.

About 3am we were finally put into our room which we are still hanging out in. Jack’s oxygen was just turned off and he has to be without supplemental oxygen for 8 hours before we can go home. After two hours now, he is showing some promise but is still de-satting from time to time.

So now we wait. I am watching the Reds unfortunately losing (barely) to the Cardinals while Jack is taking another one of his short but often naps. I stayed with Jack today while Matt went to work to get some deadlines met. Hopefully I can go to work tomorrow.
Opening Day 2014

Cast Free Is The Way To Be

We are finishing up our fourth day of being cast free and I have to say I love it. Jack is so happy to be free from that cast and he is showing it in his attitude. He is so much fun to be around and its a lot of entertaining to see him discover the mobile world again.

The actual un-casting process was a horrible experience for him. The saw was loud and had to come up to his shoulders to remove the bar around his chest under his arm pits. He was absolutely petrified and screamed during the whole process; bursting capillaries in his eyelids and cheeks as he struggled. Once the cast was fully removed, we were able to give him a quick cleaning before a couple x-rays. The x-rays showed that his hip is still in the socket and all is good.

Next we picked up his brace from Hanger Orthopedic. Jack isn’t a fan, but it will help him adjust to life on the go without straining a recovery hip. He will wear the brace for 23 hours a day for 3 months.

All in all, Jack is bouncing back quickly. He is already doing an army crawl while wearing the brace, and he allowed us to bear weight on his legs tonight for a short time. He’ll be up and moving in no time.

And there is a bonus; since Jack was so used to the cast, he is a little insecure without that plaster armour, so Matt and I are really getting in some little boy cuddle time. We are enjoying it to the fullest since we know it won’t last too long.

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Jack giving his ‘stink face’ as we waited in the office before the de-casting. This is the last time you will see this cast…well, the last time you will see it on Jack’s body.

 

 

 

 

ABM_1393213942 This screen was brought up on while we were waiting for get the cast off. It is a list of all the images that have been taken of Jack at Children’s. The red arrow is a list of the actual images. The blue arrow is of how many images were taken at the time.

 

 

 

ABM_1393214035This is on the same screen as the imaging list. Notice how small the scroll bar is on the left side. I wish I could have had a nickel for all the images that Children’s has for Jack. I would take a small hiatus from work!

 

 

 

ABM_1392916846 After the cast removal, the cast was just tossed into a trash can in the room. It really did look like we threw Jack away.

 

 

 

 

IMG_20140223_224527Jack quickly began to relax once we got home. After a good nap, he immediately went to his play room which had been neglected during the cast period. What a ham bone.

 

 

 

 

IMG_20140223_225015We took serious advantage of our spring-like weather on Saturday. Jack was finally able to ride on this tricycle that he got for Christmas. We took a walk down to UDF, loaded up on chocolate malts (and Funyons for Jack) and headed back home so we could show him off to the neighbors.

Cast-Away Eve

Oh, how time flies.The last time we spoke, Jack was still in the hospital. He was casted from armpit to toes and was just showing signs of an appetite and some personality. And here we are, the night before his cast comes off. Can you believe it? It has been 3 months.

I’m sorry that I didn’t write much about the cast period. It was busy in the Roettgers’s house. First of all, I started a new job. I am still in the same industry, but with quite different responsibilities. I would definitely call it a promotion. I am really enjoying my new-found lack of free time during the day (surprisingly).

And then there was Christmas. Not my favorite time of year but I did try a little harder this year since Jack is starting to get into it. He loved the presents (still loves them – spoiled) and really enjoyed laying under the Christmas tree and looking up at the lights. You really have to look at unconventional ways to entertain a two-year old when they are in a fill spica cast.

The new year started with a bang….the same bang as the last year…a big push to finish the kitchen. Matt is working really hard on the finishing touches and you should see the concrete countertops he has created (if he hasn’t shown you the photos already). He is very proud of them, as he should be. They look great!

And all this time, Jack has been a great little boy. He has shown a lot of patience for just a little boy (he didn’t get the from me…shocker), and he has really worked on his arm. He can look at his target, turn his head and throw a stuffed baseball blindly into Matt’s hands about 80% of the time. I know I am quite partial to thinking that he is an incredible little boy, but it is quite impressive to see. Maybe I’ll put a video on the blog one day.

So, hopefully his obsession with Mickey Mouse movies and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes will decrease a little once he is out of his cast and able to move around. There are only so many times that I can watch Mickey Mouse and the Three Musketeers in a lifetime and I passed that number about a month ago.

Well, the next time I publish a post, Jack will be out of his cast. He will be a little stiff for about a week or so and probably won’t be doing much of anything, but I will keep you all updated on all his amazing happenings. And hopefully a little more often than lately as well.

Until next time, I will leave you with a photo from after tonight’s towel bathing.

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