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March 17, 2009


The chest thing will totally be okay Julia. Granted, I have no children but aren't children always getting weird lumps and bumps that doctors can't explain? I myself, as a small child, had a bump on my face that lingered for months. My mother would take me to the doctor, he'd poke it and hemm and haww about what to do then tell my mother to just "leave it" for now and then a couple weeks later she'd take me back because it had grown a little and he'd poke it again and hemm and haww. Eventually the damn thing just disappeared on it's own. (Way to be proactive Doc!) Not saying that Caroline's lump thingy will just go away on it's own but I am very confident that it will turn out to be nothing.

Because it is Caroline. And Caroline is awesome. And nothing can touch her in her awesomeness.

Now stop biting those nails and go tickle your pretty, pretty babies for me!

I am sending all good thoughts your way. The chest thing has got to be nothing. Also, I want to eat your children, because they are way too cute.

Maybe you can sneak some pork goodness into some bean soup for Caroline. :)

Yes, I do believe the chest thing will be okay. I truly do believe that. Nevertheless I will send you all the good thoughts I can muster. Like you, I would be a mess inside for the next week and I hope you can find some peace this next week.

Your brother may be right, and I hear you that the MD seems more concerned than last time, but he still requested getting her "in this month, if possible" which does not sound as scary as if they said "let's get you an appointment for later this afternoon."

I have a boy and a girl who are about a week older than yours, I think, and just yesterday they weighed in at the doctor's at 19 lbs 2 oz (our boy) and 17 lbs 11 oz (our girl). At 15 months. So yes, I know about small child worries.

I have embraced the liberal use of oil. Avocado oil goes into everything, and for sweet things like fruit or yogurt we're adding honey. Of course, these tricks obviously haven't been working very well as our children are apparently so small that they might float away if the cat breathes on them. Time to bring out the big guns, but so far I've yet to get them interested in cheesecake or cheese fries.

My god, that picture is amazing, just like Caroline. You should see if you can get one of those portait artists to paint it. You know, in case you need another load-bearing painting. If I can be guarenteed a child just like Caroline, followed by an Edward, I'd give up my firm no-kids-for-me stance.

As for the lump, you make me want to bite my own nails in sympathy, but I agree with Kelly, Caroline is far too awesome for something like this to bother her. Kids are weird, the human body is weird, I'm sure it's nothing.

good luck with the chest lump--here's hoping it's nothing, or at least something easily resolved.

as for weight gain, has Caroline tried avocado yet? or eggs? my baby cousin used to eat hard-boiled egg yolks crumbled into his more savory purees.

Apricot-Orange Pork Chops may help in the meat-eating department... my little boy (6 weeks younger than the twins) will only eat a few bites of meat at a meal, if at all. But when I make this, he eats half a pork chop (or chicken breast - because it is just as good with chicken). The meat comes out sweet and very tender - so it's easy to chew even if you're tiny without many teeth. I found it on the Crockpot365 blog: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/01/orange-apricot-pork-chops-in-crockpot.html

Proof that a vegetarian diet can work-- My 2 1/2 yr/old daughter has been vegetarian her entire life and is well above the 100th percentile for height. She's normal size for a 4 year old. I don't bring that up to brag, (well maybe a little bit,) but to support that a vegetarian diet CAN be healthy in kids. And from what you describe that she eats, sounds like she's doing great to me.

One thing about soy--phytoestrogens mimic human estrogens and soy is packed with them. Too much soy can play havoc with hormones. Just wanted to bring up that CAN eat too much soy...

I was just thinking that you were talking about the soy milk and the chest lump in the same post. Maybe Drofen's on to something. I'm the praying type, so I'll pray that it's nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Drofen- I was going to say that too and I forgot. My daughter is slender but very tall for her age and she is a lacto-ovo-veggie to the core. As for her milk, she has always had a lot of different types. She drinks soy milk in her lunch, rice milk with her cereal and cows milk in her occasional hot chocolates (and she also eats full-fat greek yogurt with cows milk of course as it has both probiotics *and* is fattening for those skinnier kids that need to gain). Too much soy can be a problem and too much cows milk can be a problem- I think your solution of half cow/half soy sounds great, especially if she finds it okay tasting.

I wish I had accurate visions of the future so that I could tell you all will be well, but, failing that (and the fact that first I would find out if our upcoming IVF will work) I do believe it will be well. Think of all those issues you had before that now you can mark 'resolved' after. This too will pass.

And unbalanced baby boy is now 2 1/2 and is only 21 pounds. So, I feel ya.

I have to echo the others and say that I wouldn't give soy products to a growing child in that there is some evidence that non-fermented soy creates problems with hormones and growths (not sure whether just benign ones, I had skimmed an article over a year ago).

I have an intolerance to cow's milk protein - causes my lungs to fill with fluid - and so I was raised on goat's milk as it is more digestible than cow's milk.

When I wsa growing up, you could not find goat's milk in the stores and so my mom and I would drive from St. Paul every two weeks to a goat farm to get our milk there. I believe it's near you if you live where I think you do.

The family (the Mayefskys) who owns the farm are really wonderful people. Used to be we could only get the raw, but I think they now sell it in local stores. Oh! Just found it online. Poplar Hill in Scandia. http://www.poplarhillfarm.com/

Anyway, I would recommend trying Caroline on the goat milk as an alternative to cow's milk.

Will be sending positive wishes and prayers your way regarding Caroline's lump.

Our Caroline Jane will be perfectly fine... she absolutely must be and this will be one of those things that we all just shake our heads, say phew and look for more priceless photos. My son is sporting exact same look today- tiger tshirt, jeans... he's a bit more wobbly at seven months but I'm afraid might smoosh her if he sat on her. Guess we rarely don't worry about our child's size - regardless of which side of the spectrum we visit.

I have four daughters and as toddlers they tended to eat everything in sight. None of them topped 18 pounds at 15 months. They're now healthy, fit, slim adults and teens. And although none are taller than 5'3", force feeding them calories wouldn't have made them taller. Sorry kids, your parents passed on their short genes.

Those growth charts used to drive me nuts. Considering the high rate of obesity in children and teens in this country, I wasn't particularly anxious for my kids to get higher on the charts.

Keeping fingers and toes crossed that Caroline will be just fine.

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Thinking of you and Miss C. Here's to time flying by and your appt to get here quickly. Hugs

Technically Caroline's lump preceded her ever drinking soy milk, but I am willing to believe in a possible association between its continued growth and the soy/estrogen link. Beats the hell out of the alternatives I am also entertaining and it is one of the reasons I am trying to limit her soy intake.

And, for the record, Caroline was born at 4 pounds because her placenta was riddled like swiss cheese. She might be genetically predisposed to be on the short side but she nonetheless deserves the chance to grow fully to maximize that petite potential. She started off at the bottom of the preemie charts for her non-preemie adjusted age and her neonatologist had her augmented with 22 calorie formula for months and months and months. Right now the fact that she is sliding backwards on those dreaded charts makes me want to give her a cookie. Literally.

Whoa. Did Florastor just use my blog as an ADVERTISEMENT?

I cannot decide if I am more amused or offended.

Oh, thanks for the goat hookup, Anna. I shall venture... in whichever cardinal direction would get me to Scandia... and check them out.

She's beautiful and she's going to be perfect.

When my daughter was five, I discovered a large lump at the base of her neck. Frightened out of my wits, I immediately took her to the pediatrician where we were directed to a pediatric surgeon the very next day. Surgery came a few days later. The surgeon removed a benign, but fast growing cyst. After removal, it never came back. My daughter is now 30 and I can still remember how scared I felt for those few days. Cysts, lumps, nodes -- all can grow on a child with no harmful effect other than inflicting trauma on the mom. Caroline will be fine.

I'm sending good thought Caroline's way. BTW, you have much more self control than I would. I think I would have held my breath, but I've been told that I can be a bit, er, um, tenacious would be the nicest way of describing it, I think.

Chest-lump will be okay, regardless of what/why it is, because Caroline has loving and capable parents. Problems arise and you do what needs to be done to get through them. You'll both be okay, even though the waiting-game sucks.

It is going to be okay. Not sure what the road to okay will be, and of course since you have dealt with the crappy end of the percentage games you will worry like mad. But I bet it is going to be a-ok.

Yes, the chest lump will be nothing. My older sister was born with such a lump in her breast. My mom was terrified as the docs then in the 60s had her certain it was the dreaded C. It was removed and was nothing. Caroline will do well. Deep cleansing breaths. Fingers crossed regardless.
Our twins are small too. I know she has the placenta stuff, but mother nature can sometimes be wonderful (I know she was pretty mean to you over the years, but ...) and Caroline will catch up. She will surely reach that genetic petite potential!

I recently had a lump on the back of my skull that started growing pretty quickly and had me freaked out. Turned out to be a cyst that was easily removed. I hope the same is true for Caroline!

Having no kids (yet) I can't offer any sage advice, but I would like to point out that Miss Caroline is not going to be a model, although she clearly has the looks for it. What she is going to be is a fantastic dancer! Look at that sassy attitude and those perfectly pointed feet! I can't even get some of my high school students to point that well. I see lots of leotards in your future.

The Doc seemed more concerned because Mom was concerned and the lump is larger. Who would tell a Mom to wait on that. I'm sure it will all be fine. I'm also no Doc but with her size, if the lump wasn't something benign I think you'd know by now. Sending good thoughts your way anyway.

I'm lumpy...I've got cysts on my head like you wouldn't believe (thanks Dad) and one on my leg that feels like a fat deposit - but they're not sure (thanks Mom). Oh and the ones that they keep finding in my breast tissue (thanks Aunts!).

All have always come back benign...

I'm hoping the same fate for Caroline. She's just too cute Julia...very, very cute. I'm having a boy in July...perhaps when they get older??? :)

Sending good thoughts for Caroline - and you.

And, the itsy bitsy spider taking the elevator image: hi-LARIOUS!

It's a relief to hear about all the petite babies out there! My son is 10 months and he's topped 18 lbs (in fact the other day in the bath I realized he has a bit of a spare tire) but he's short. Really short. Like, falling off the chart short. The dr said, "oh we won't worry about growth hormones until he's two." Oye!

Caroline is a beauty.

And the Flostar advert was worth it because it was hilarious. Does a Flostar rep read your blog?

Your children are stunningly beautiful.

Sweet Caroline will fine. You will be fine. Everything will be perfect :)

Caroline has got to be the cutest little girl ever. I am confident she will be all right. Children are always getting weird lumps, and while concerning that the doctors are unable to tell you what it is, I am sure it is nothing. My very best thoughts are with you.

I can relate when it comes to a skinny child. Gabe has always been in the 25th percentile. And the child doesn't eat. He is almost 4 and weighs only 34lbs... soaking wet. He would live on fruit, plain pasta noodles, and chocolate milk if he could.

When you mentioned this lump in a past post, I put my bets down on myofibroma. If that's what the lump is (harmless, BTW, and common in littles) I'll be applying for my Dr. Google degree. We had one on our middles and it was removed without prior biopsy. He's 5, so YMMV, you know. But, my guess is that they will remove it, without biopsy, since it's growing. And therein lies all my assvice re: chest lumps. Who would have thought I would grow up to be a "strange lump in the chest" expert??

I'm keeping you and Caroline in my thoughts that the chest thing will be okay. I've got some pretty powerful thoughts.

And thank you for the Janis reference, it made me giggle so loudly that the kids came to see if I was looking at kitten webcams again.

julia, i have no view into the future and am not the GODlY sort, but i'll pray and my best wishes for Krickets chest stuff.
BTW they are the CUTEST but I must complain about the lack of Edwards' picture this time, i am formally asking you, for pictures of both of those cuties vs. one...even if its a quick shot!
They are gorgeous and so are you xoKellie from Canada :)

If you're so inclined feel free to send Caroline to live with anyone in my butter-bread-cheese lovin' extended family for one month. We'll have her in the 50th percentile in no time.

Keeping fingers crossed and prayers said for an oh.it's.nothing outcome for you all.

all good thoughts, julia.

When my son kept having abnormal liver function tests, I begged for a biopsy... having gone down the bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy route with him, I do realize that sometimes it absolutely is something to worry about. And in my honest opinion, knowing FOR ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that there's no problem is way better than worrying about what it may or may not be... so, I guess what I'm saying is that I would absolutely request a biopsy... surely they will sedate her for it, thereby making it painless for her and giving you relief and peace of mind at the same time.

The chest thing will be fine. Period end of sentence. Take a couple of deep breaths and you'll make it through.

I agree, Caroline is destined to dance with thoses adorable little pointed perfectly toes.

Julia, I have been reading about you and your family since long before Caroline and Edward arrived, and I want to thank you for sharing your family with us. Every entry is a delight. I have no idea how the chest lump thing will go, but after all you have been through, THIS should be perfectly all right and so I persist in my belief that it will be. Internet feel-goodery may not mean good medicine but it doesn't hurt to know you and your family have hundreds of people in the computer cheering you on.

Thank you again.

Caroline will be fine. :) I will keep you all in my thoughts that there is a quick resolution to the chest lump.

Of all the pictures that you've posted, I think this one of her by herself is my favorite as well. I just want to squeeze her! I really love hearing about your family! It makes me that much more impatient for my own! :)

My now-2-years (tomorrow! yay!) son was 50th percentile in weight until around six or seven months old, and then he just kept on dropping down until he hit 5th percentile, and has never come back up. Our pediatrician has always been serene about it. He pointed out that the weight started dropping off as S. became more active and says S. is just reflecting his parents' physiologies (not super skinny, but not overweight either). He said one would worry more about sudden changes in head circumference but when a child is active and healthy and hitting developmental milestones, it's nothing to worry about.

I still kinda wish I could bulk him up a bit. He's 25 pounds now, I think. But I'm willing to trust him, as S. seems perfectly fine otherwise.

Anyway, your pediatricians may take a similar perspective, although I also think you should prod them about it if it's weighing on you. I just mention all this to say that it's okay and can be normal to be on the (very) low part of the growth curve.

I don't know anything about lumps, I think Caroline will be fine but I'm certainly sending her (and you) my best wishes while you wait to find out for sure.

My awful grammar probably makes you cringe. Of course it is my son who is 25 pounds and who I would like to gain weight--not his pediatrician.

if you are trying for extra calories...will she eat mashed potatoes? mix sour cream, butter, whole milk, cream cheese in them. anything you would love to have but won't due to calories...pout in her potatoes. as for the lump, it is nothing but i would insist they either biopsy it or remove it asap because why take a chance. peace of mind for all is my motto.

You will all be okay no matter what happens. I love her laughing face in the first photo, she is so lit up with joy. My girl is also tiny, at the 1% of the growth charts, yep the very lowest, but she is healthy and smart, just little.

Number one: The chest lump has to be fine. It HAS to be. She is wonderful, beautiful and she will be fine. Just as an aside, my husband has a not-rapid-but-not-slow growing lump on his shoulder that turned out to be a cyst of some sort. Had it removed, nothing else ever came of it. I will have you and your family, especially Caroline, in my prayers.

Number two: awesome Janis J reference. ;) I love her.

Number three: My son is 16 mo and he is a riot with his shopping cart. Fill it up, push it three feet, unload. Reload, another three feet, repeat. He giggles a ton, stamps his feet and gets all excited with the prospect of filling that cart again.

And also, did I mention, Caroline WILL be fine. <3 Hugs and love <3

It will be fine.
Thinking of you guys as you wait for the next appointment. The waiting is hard.
It will be fine.

hoping with all my heart that the chest thing will be just fine.

knowing with all my everything that you guys will deal with it, whatever it is (or, more probably, isn't) with grace and love, no matter what.

FWIW, my young nephew also had a lump high up on his chest. It grew and looked horrible, but after much hand-wringing, it turned out to be nothing. It took a while, a year??, but eventually it went away.
Cricket is the cutest nickname ever. It's almost enough to make me want another baby or a puppy or something to name!

OK I know I shouldn't be lazy, and I should see when exactly Caroline and Edward were born, but I worried about Tess's size (she too was 18 lbs at 13 months). At the time my doctor told me that for every month they are premature, it can take a year for their development to stabilize. So as Tess was a 36 weeker, he said to watch her growth, talking, walking etc. to explode in year two. And he was right. By her year two appt. she was waaaaay off the chart for height and in the 75th for weight. She didn't have any placenta issues that i know of, I just went into labour early. But just a thought.

I feel that this lump is going to be "nothing," in that it'll be something easily treatable. Why do I feel that? I dunno. And I love the last picture!

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