Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Leave me alone!"

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"I'm reading the paper...."

(should we tell him that it's a paper bag?)
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Hey, dad... gimme dat camera! It looks yummy!
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Thursday, May 29, 2008


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Owen spends a lot of time contemplating what to do next. Now that he's capable of deciding what to do next, he finally has something to contemplate.
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PKU test night

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Thursday means weekly test night. Here's the tools from upper right, counterclockwise: A sterile pad to stop bleeding once the sample is collected, the 'Guthrie Card' that is used to collect the sample and send it to the lab, with pre-addressed envelope, the 'tenderfoot' cutter which cuts a nice and clean slice in Owen's foot, the alcohol swab to get everything clean and ready, and a little button band-aid to seal everything up afterward.

It all starts with the tenderfoot slicing a very tiny hole in Owen's foot. It's not as small as a lancet that would be used for diabetes, as we need quite a bit more blood than what those tests call for, but it is a fairly small cut altogether. Nothing close to what a steak knife would do, even if used cautiously.

Collecting the sample takes two hands, so there aren't really any action shots. So, here's the directly after action shot. Owen doesn't cry during these tests anymore. He fusses some, but no crying. I think it's sometimes more painful to not see Mom than it is to have a little cut on the foot.

And, here's a card all filled up and ready to send. Actually, this is one of the neater jobs that's been done so far. Owen's feet just like to kick, so it's sometimes a bit of a moving target to get this all in. For scale, that circle is about the same size as a dime, and the paper is very thick.

So, 7 days till the next one, and this time, we use the right foot.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Hey Aunt Karen...

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"Your house looks awesome! The ceiling fans are exquisite!"
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We all headed out to get some 'first of the season' berries.

Owen seemed to enjoy himself out in the berry patch. There was lots to look at.

"Hey... I LOVE strawbellies... I think...."

After picking, we visited Great Grandma Sally up at the Fruit Stand. Owen was telling everyone about how much he helped. He even claimed to have seen a strawberry that was "this big'...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gettin' ready to stROLL

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Part of the evening routine is to take Owen on a backpack walk before we start the settling down for the night. Mom dressed him in this cute outfit, and out came the camera.

Do you remember 'pachydermania'? This is revenge...

One of Owen's favorite toys is the 'O-ball'... not only can he easily grab it with his hands, but he can pass it between hands and feet, using his monkey toes. Dishwasher safe, too.
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PHE-ding time

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After work on Friday, dad got a chance to help with Owen's dinner time. He's really taken to the 'Born Free' sippy cups, which give him a way to drink that also allows him something to chew on. We're pretty sure Owen is in his last throes of being able to give a toothless grin.

The really interesting thing about Owen and his eating is how well he's maintaining his PHE levels. Actually, this can be attributed to the PHE team of Owen and mom. Normally, kids at this point would have elevating blood levels of PHE as they get bigger and experiment with solid food, but Owen's levels are staying right in the middle of the 'safe' zone, and actually dropping some weeks. Now... this doesn't mean he's growing out of anything or that the PKU is fading away. It's just a good sign that he and mom are managing this thing very well. The levels? Two weeks ago, 246. Last week? 195. Will the trend continue? Stay tuned!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let's Ride!

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Owen's almost ready to head out on his two-wheeler. It's not a bike, but rather a trailer that goes behind my bike. It does have only two wheels, so technically it is, in fact, a two-wheeler.

Owen's ready to go other than the fact that his head isn't quite big enough to properly wear a helmet. He's close... really close, but not quite there yet.

He does alright with the putting on part, he excells at the wearing part, but we'll have to work on the taking off part. You gotta undo the buckle first!

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6 month Dr. Amber Visit

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Owen says: I went to the Dr. Amber's Office, and they said I was thiiiiiiisssssss big! Then they poked things in my legs... How rude!
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Our little man...

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This little guy is really beginning to be his own person. He's trying to communicate, and given enough room, he can oftentimes get to a place or a thing that he wants. It has been an amazing experience watching someone grow from blast-off to 6 months. Even with what could be considred a rough start from a few different perspectives.

So, just about 6 months ago, we were finding out about the whole PKU thing. Actually, 6 months ago to the day, we were probably in denial, thinking that the tests must be wrong. I remember finding a Web site that said most of the first positives were false positives. Looking back to that series of events, the extra blood tests, the waiting for phone calls... it all seems so distant.

So, the photo above is Owen the night before he goes in for his 6 month shots. So, in 6 months plus a couple of weeks, Owen has been to Portland several times, rolled all the way across the living room, tried lots of different kinds of foods, kept his blood PHE levels well within the treatment range, learned how to say 'ba ba ba' quite well (and he's proud of it), almost worn out two jumpers, been skiing, gave his first Mother's Day card, helped plant a garden and keep it watered, got his first taste of driving, went bowling, wrote a blog post, been out farming, learned to not cry during his blood tests, moved, partied, and partied, and recovered from his parties.

It's been a good 6 months. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dinner at Gramma's

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Dad took Owen up to Grandma's house today to give Mom an evening off. With the combined powers of Grandma and Dad, Owen was able to max out on his daily PHE intake... almost. We think he could have had one more tablespoon of carrots, but... they ended up on his face.

He's eating really well now. He has very few complaints and has a hard time finding any reasons to complain.

Nom nom nom...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pretty Kute Update

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Another trip up to OHSU to see Owen's friend (and dietitian) Stacey. There's good news on the PKU front, and it's basically that he's handling things very well. His blood levels of PHE have been increasing at a slow and steady rate, so this is looking like things will be at least predictable. We'll start to get a feel for how much PHE he'll be able to handle, which will translate to how much table food he'll be able to have. The photo above shows the entrance into Dorenbecher and the fun stuff the kiddos get to see on the way in. They really try to make it an exciting place to visit.

There are fish tanks all over the floor that Owen's clinic is on. It's usually a big attraction, but Owen was lookin' at other things.

Another visit, another piece of fruit in the lobby. Remember the last one?

Owen got a new ride up in Portland. This rig is going to help get him out of doors a bit more, especially in places where a three-wheeled cart won't go. As you can see, he's pretty comfortable in there. This will be a VERY good thing. It's even got a little pack that zips off so Owen can pack some stuff when he gets big enough to walk part of the time.

And, here's the vitals: Owen is 14 pounds 7 ounces, 26.5 inches tall. Smile quotient of 135. 6 months old on Thursday.
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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Farmer Owen

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Dad was out helping Great Grandpa Don on the farm today, and Owen came out for a lunch-time visit. He had a very appropriate outfit for his first time on a tractor.
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Friday, May 2, 2008

Eat at Owen's!

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We were going to wait until 6 months had officially passed, but Owen told us he was ready to try some solid food. We followed the instructions on feeding amounts from the clinic in Portland, and we'll get to see how things end up on the blood level front at next week's appointment.

I'm proud to say he's a fairly neat eater. So far...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cuteness update

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Howdy y'all!

It's been quiet on the blog front lately, and the reason has been the build up and release of dad's new Web site, The release wasn't as smooth as things could have gone, but the site seems to be working as expected now.

Two long days of battling servers, scripts, config files, and people in far away lands made coming home to this little guy quite a treat. So, I'll share Owen's good mood.

There's a good chance he's getting close to something close to crawling. He's figured out how to move around a room... but not technically crawling... yet.
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