Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome Matthew Caden Pratt!

For those of you who have yet to hear, Matthew Joined us on Saturday October 18th, 2008 at 5:56 AM. He was 7lbs and 15oz, 21" long.

I went into the doctor around 1:45 PM Friday and she sent me directly to OB. We weren't prepared for that response and had all of the kids with us, and no cell phone, so it was an interesting dilema! We called Marilyn Barber, since she was the only person whose phone number we could remember! She called Marilyn Weller for us, and a short time later they arrived to help with the kids. Marilyn ended up staying with me throughout labor and delivery and the kids went home with Becky Dalrymple. We had a great time chatting and walking, and walking and walking! She stayed up all night with me, while Andrew slept!! He was so glad she agreed to stay! I really enjoyed the company, no offense but Andrew isn't much of a talker! Talking helped distract me, so the time went by pretty fast and the pain seemed less.

By 3:30 I was getting pretty tired, so we opted to get some pain meds and speed things along. As always, things went very fast after the pitocin was added. Just two hours later we had what we thought was a very very dark baby boy! Then they informed us he was just purple...he got stuck on the way out. I have to admit I was a little disappointed! I think he will still be darker than the other two boys, but we will just have to wait and see. Seems Arianna drained the pigment stores :-)

So far he is a great baby! Since birth he has had a pretty consistant 3 hour eating scheduale during the day and 2 hours at night. We are working on reversing that...
He eats great and has already gained back more than his birth weight, so things are going well. Right after birth he had a little trouble controlling his body temp and his sugar was low, but those issues resolved pretty quickly and he is doing great now.

He seems very alert for a newborn and lifts his head to look around. He even seems to be trying to coo and smile when you talk to him or kiss him. (I'm not kidding or crazy!) I don't remember the others doing that this early. He hates pacifiers! And loves to eat! He rarely cries, and if he does there is a good reason.

As far as how he looks, we think he looks a lot like Arianna did when she was little, although he also looks a lot like Isaac did too in other ways (and Isaac is a blonde!) He is built very stocky in the upper body, his chest is like a square, as wide as it is deep! We were all a little surprised at his size for being born at 37 weeks. His tone is pretty red, and his hair is very dark. We'll just have to wait and see now...will he be a tiny blonde like Isaac or will he grow quickly and be darker like Arianna, or maybe he will tread his own path??? I'm excited to see.

The kids are very proud of him. Isaac is having a little difficulty giving up baby status, but I think he will come along. The baby has become a sort of curiosity for him, so we have to be careful, today I found him climbing in the car seat on top of the baby!

Overall I would have to say that this has been a wonderful experience. Probably the easiest and most enjoyable of all four! I thought it would be rather chaotic, but with the support and generosity from our church family here, things are going very smoothly. It seems everyday we recieve a new blessing that gives an extra boost of energy! Amazing how God can work through good deeds to lift even the most tired of spirits :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Isaac's Surgery

Andrew and I drove to Iowa City at 3AM Monday morning with Isaac, who refused to go back to sleep and instead screamed the entire way! While Arianna and Ethan stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa Pratt who were here for a visit. We arrived at the hospital and checked in around 6:30 and they took Isaac back to surgery around 8AM Monday.

While Andrew and I were on our way to get the prescriptions filled and grab some breakfast, we saw Isaac's surgeon on his way to surgery. He sounded very hopeful that he would get the rest of the area removed and be able to close the scalp during this surgery.

We were trying not to get our hopes up knowing that it might not work out that way. This is Isaac's third large surgery to try and remove the Neivis on his head, and each time before they were hopeful they would get it all as well. Around 9:45Am the doctor came up to meet with us and said "We Won!" We were all so excited even if it didn't show due to the extreme fatigue we were feeling at this point :-)

Everything went very well, they removed the rest of the trouble area, and were able to close his scalp with the help of many stitches and about 20 staples. The doctor said other than a surgery later in life to help with the scar this would probably be Isaac's final surgery!

He was awake in recovery pretty quickly so they called us down to see him. By the time we arrived he was already back to sleep with the help of some morphine, because he had been in so much pain when he awoke. After that he was pretty calm most of the day. We went to eat lunch and he threw up just as we sat down, most likely from the anesthesia, but then seemed to be a little more alert, and did well the rest of the day.

He seems to be healing up well, and the pain is under control. We start getting staples and stitches removed in a few more days!

Being so close to the end looking back, I am just so thankful for all the wonderful ways we were blessed throughout this process. We were often able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House before surgery, which we all grew to look forward to and enjoy. Everyone was so nice and friendly, and it was nice to see how generous people can be.

The doctor we had was incredible. Such a talented man, and very easy to talk with and understand. He was very patient with Isaac and the other kids, as well as the questions Andrew and I had surrounding this process. He always made us feel very comfortable about what was going to be happening, and it was such a blessing to be able to trust the doctor cutting into your baby's head! He was a joy to work with.

We also had many great support people helping and praying for us as well as keeping the kids over night and giving them a little extra TLC during the craziness, it all made what could have been a horrible process, seem not so bad, maybe even enjoyable in some ways. It really worked out so well I don't think any of us will have bad memories of this time, although I hope we don't have to repeat it again :-)

Here are some pictures of Isaac before and After surgery. The incision is not usually covered because of its location, if you have a weak stomache you might not want to look very closely :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's a Boy!

As I've mentioned we added a dog to our family recently. Hershey (the name came with the dog) is a full blooded Chocolate Lab. He is a good dog and seems to train easily, but he is another kid for sure. Some days I am very glad we have him, other days I want the headache to go away!

We took him to the vet yesterday for his puppy shots, and he already is weighing in at 46 pounds! He was 14 weeks when we got him and he weighed 21 pounds, now he is 19 weeks and more than doubled in size, he has a ways to go before he stops it looks like. Everyone who sees him comments on his bear like paws.

Our routine trip to the vet yesterday turned out to be not so routine after all! He was found to have a rash and was given antibiotics to clear it. The vet said if this doesn't clear it and keep it away, he more than likely has allergies. Right on cue about 15 minutes later when we returned home he started having an allergic reaction to the vaccine he was given. His head started to shake uncontrollably, and he seemed to be having a seizure! It would have been funny under different circumstances. He looked like a bobble head dog and was walking into chairs etc. We took him back and they gave him two shots to try and counteract the vacinne, but they didn't work. They gave him Bendadryl and still it didn't work. finally we decided to bring him home, give him more benadryl and hope he would sleep it off! This morning he seems to be doing better. I have NEVER had a dog with issues and we always had at least two dogs while growing up! The vet said she has never had any trouble with the dogs from these breeders. Both his parents are very healthy. The current litter was 14 and the others are all fine. I think he was reserved just for our family! Someone knew he would fit right in!

A Frog for Tea

Arianna has taken an intrest lately in catching lightening bugs and frogs or toads. She is getting quite good at it. She likes to bring the frogs/toads (she even knows the difference) home and set them free in the back yard with hopes that she will see them again. This frog she caught for Tea, but since Tea lives in MN we told her it wouldn't be a great idea to try and save it to take to her. So we took a picture for Tea instead. So here is your froggy Tea, it is living in our backyard for now, you'll have to come and visit, then you can try to catch it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Learning in progress...

We've officially started getting back into the hang of school! Arianna starts Kindergarten this year and will be homeschooled, so we are busy with review! Ethan is joining in on the learning some also. He is learning to write his name, and we are go back over the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-10 trying to strengthen his knowledge in these areas. Mostly this work is to help him learn to focus, and LISTEN. He usually answers what he thinks he hears and what he thinks he hears usually has nothing to do with what was said :-) Arianna is doing well with beginning reading and writting among other review and generally really enjoys it. At the end of our lessons we count up the stars they have recieved and they get to count out 1 raisin for each star and eat them. Amazingly this seems to be a great motivation!
We do memory work together in the mornings and both kids have memorized James 1:17 and Proverbs 3:1-3 so far. I am always impressed by their ability and excitement to memorize the bible. I really enjoy it also, I get to memorize along with them and get extra reading in while giving context and searching for new verses that would be good.

Ethan must find something quiet to do while Arianna is working, this can be a challenge for him sometimes. We found that if he gets his cars out, he enjoys this quiet time! This is Ethan having quiet time with all of his favorite cars from Aunt Corinne while Arianna finishes her school work. He LOVES cars right now. He will sit for hours and play with them in lots of different ways. He is so much fun to watch.

Little Helper

We've been doing some work on Corinne and Patrick's house in Centerville. The kids tend to get restless, except for Isaac! He is always right there with his Daddy mimicking everything he does, trying to help! He acts like he really knows what is going on, and when Andrew stops to ponder a situation, Isaac seems to do the same!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Paul-Pratt Family goes to Niagra Falls Sept 07

Okay Dad it's almost been a year but here are some of the pics from our trip!I have lots that are the here are the few that actually came out and are different from each other...I'll email the others, Finally!! I hope you enjoy ;-) Love you

Joining the world of Bloggers?!?

Since its summer and I'm a little more on top of things than usual, I thought I would take the plunge and get a blog! I have recently joined My Space and Facebook Also. With our families and friends living everywhere but here...I thought maybe it would make information and picture sharing a bit easier in the long run! We'll see...