Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So? It's almost a week late.

Jack got a huge haul of gifts. Honestly, we could have gotten away with no buying him anything, but we did.

This picture pretty much sums up the day:

Jack fascinated with his new toys, especially the ones that make noise.

What did he get? Well, here's a list:

* The puppy above
* A V-Tech farm with animal and music sounds
* A walking/riding toy
* Tons of clothes
* A band in a box
* A baby piano
* Three trucks
* A huge moose stuffed animal
* Five wooden puzzles
* A baby cell phone
* Four wooden vintage toys (workbench, blocks, ball pounder, etc.)
* New bath toys
* Two stockings full of little things
* Tons of books
* A Little People plane
* Money (yes, seriously)

He cleaned up no? I am sure I forgot some things, but dang. The kid is spoiled.

Our day went well. Jack woke up at his normal time. Mommy was tired, but because it was Christmas, a cup of coffee and 6:00am wasn't so terrible. Jack opened his stocking. Well, mostly Mommy opened and Jack just tore paper to shreds.

We headed over to my in-laws in the later morning with a car full of presents, and my husband suddenly gasped and said this: "Oh my God, do you realize that we have about 13 years of assembling shit ahead of us?" Gee, thanks honey for reminding me!

Jack and the rest of us got utterly spoiled at the in-laws. Then it was off to my aunt and uncle's. The boy didn't nap great, but he did at least nap some. Unlike Thanksgiving which was a nightmare. We were all tired, but Christmas cookies made the day happy. Jack particularly liked the Peanut Butter Blossoms. That's my boy! He loves cookies.

Our first Christmas as a family was nice, but honestly, the kiddo isn't going to remember it. Next year will be an entirely different story, that's for sure.

Walking!

My big boy started taking steps about two weeks ago. He would take one step and then either fall on his butt, or he would get to his destination (usually between two pieces of furniture).

Today, I get a phone call from my mother-in-law.

He took three steps in a row.

THREE STEPS. Did you read that?

He is officially walking.

What's even funnier? He was very nonchalant about the whole thing. Like "What? So what? I am walking."

Did I mention that he's not even 11 months old yet? Next week, he will be going on his first date and possibly graduating college.

Not that I am biased.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm the Mama

Well, after weeks of saying "Dada" to Jason, Jack finally said "Mama" to me! I am so excited!

That makes two words that Jack says with purpose. I think he's working on a couple more: All done, and bottle. All done comes out as "ahduh" and bottle comes out as "bahbah".

My big boy is starting to talk!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day of Play

Well, not a whole day, but a morning full of play.

I have been toying with the idea of taking Jack out to do some activities, but with the weather so gross, the activities need to be inside.

Jason came up with the genius idea of OMSI or the Children's Museum. Since OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is closer to our house, I took Jack there. If he did well, then we would consider going to the Children's Museum another day.

We were out of the house by 9:00 so that we could arrive right when they opened. Armed with my coffee, a full and happy baby, off we went! My timing was great. We were some of the first people to arrive and boy was I impressed!

There is a huge room (almost the size of a gymnasium) just for little ones. There is an area specifically for babies up to 2 years. In that area was a ball pit, tubes full of all kinds of noisy things, big foam blocks and other toys and activities. Jack had a blast playing in the ball pit and watching the fish in the aquarium.

My first video ever posted!

video

How cute is he? Ignore my manly voice.

The rest of the play area was full of all kinds of fun stations. There was a station for pretend play, with a puppet theater, a toy kitchen and some dress up clothes. There was a sand station, a water station, a huge area with a pretend forest, a station for blocks, a jungle gym area and so many other things!

We timed our morning just right because Jack got to experience a live band playing. He really liked all the instruments.

There was a snack area, a nice room for nursing/feeding and two bathrooms with changing stations. Can we move in please?

Honestly, we could have spent hours and hours there, but after about 90 minutes, he was beat. As seen by this serious cute passed out baby.

The plans for tomorrow? The Children's Museum since he had such an awesome time at OMSI.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Weeks Really?

Has it really been almost three weeks since my last post? Sheesh, time is flying! I blame the fact that little man is so darn mobile and that it's Christmas. My free time (ha!) is spent shopping and wrapping.

I am going to keep this short, but I am on vacation this week and I have a goal: Update my blog at least every other day. I don't think that is too hard a proposition.

Here are some things that little man are up to:

* He took his first step on Friday. GULP! I don't think I am ready for this!

* He is eating really well. Trying new food, eating more at a sitting, etc.

* He is doing this screeching thing. It's really annoying when it's not cute.

* He amazingly, has taken to longer naps. If I catch him at the right time, he will sleep for an hour, or sometimes an hour-and-a-half! Praise God!

* He is coming to church with me. I haven't blogged a lot about my spiritual journey (it's taken place over several years), but it's important to me to raise Jack as a Christian. He is too little to understand church at this stage, but he's getting practice in the church nursery.

* I am trying hard not to go overboard with Christmas, but it's not working out so well. We bought him four wooden Melissa and Doug toys (which are awesome by the way), a set of musical instruments, a baby piano, two new books, and a huge stocking full of goodies. Honestly, I think our total spent was $100, but still. He is going to enjoy playing with the boxes more.

* Having a baby makes Christmas so much fun! My spirit is light, I am so full of joy, and giddy with excitement. I can't wait for Christmas morning. He won't remember it, but I certainly will. It's also one of the first Christmases in several years that Jason doesn't have to work! Our first Christmas as a family. What a blessing.

That's about it folks. I am trying to squeeze in some housework while the boy naps. My goal means that I will have until Wednesday to update my blog again. I hope I can come up with a good topic.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

10 Months

Our little boy is 10 months old today! I can't believe it's time for double digits already.

I think I say this every month, but it's amazing to me to see how many changes Jack makes in just a few short weeks. I thought 9 months was really fun, but I think that 10 is going to turn out to be much more exciting! Jack has an amazing amount of independence and personality. He takes after my brother in many ways. It's a shame that they will never be able to meet since my brother died in 1986.

Jack, you are my biggest accomplishment, my biggest source of happiness, and at times, my biggest source of frustration. I think it's because we are both so strong-willed and we can butt heads. Even you being so little are very hard-headed and have quite the temper.

Some things that are "new" to you this month. I don't think they are necessarily related to your age, but I want to make sure to document them so I can look back and laugh (and maybe cry).

* You love to drink out of cups, but only if they don't have lids on them. You could care less about your sippy cup. It's really funny when you use your stacking cups as drinking vessels when you are in the bathtub. I can't imagine soapy, dirty water tastes very good, but you seem to think so! Every time Mommy or Daddy, or anyone for that matter, drinks from a cup, you want some too. Last night we shared a glass of apple juice together.

* Every day, you are eating better and getting more adventurous. We have given you almost every food we eat, with a few exceptions. Your absolute favorite meal is little pieces of bread smeared with peanut butter and your green beans. If this was your meal every day, you would be extremely happy. Throw in a few Cheerios, and you are golden. You have tried everything! Pizza wasn't your favorite, but you do love anything with carbs. We are alike in that respect.

* We have discovered that you sleep the best at night in bed with Mommy, but rather than Mommy holding you all night, you like to just lay next to her, usually on your tummy. A few weeks ago, you were waking 3 times a night, but these days, it seems like it's only 2. I can get used to this!

* You have recently discovered that you can stack items on top of each other to make yourself taller. I found you on top of your picture blocks the day before yesterday trying to reach my candle holder. Yikes! Slow down little dude!

* Although you only still babble and say "dadadada" or "bwabwabwa", you have started mimicing our intonations. I said "Hello" to you the other day in a very sing-songy voice and you copied my voice back. Both Daddy and I were shocked! It was the cutest thing ever and we were trying to get you to do it again for the rest of the day.

* You understand the word "no" but don't always listen to it. Most of the time you do, but if you are being strong-willed at that particular moment, you look, smile, and then keep doing whatever is naughty. I often have to pull you out of the pantry so you don't play in the cat's water bowl. Or out of the bathroom so you don't unroll the toilet paper.

* No walking yet, but boy can you climb and bounce and get around! Most of the time, if you are standing, you don't even hold on that carefully. Maybe with one hand, maybe with one finger. Pretty soon you will be cruising all around!

Jack, oh Jack. Yack Yack as Auntie Carrie calls you. I love that you are so curious and independent. Everyone who I talk to says you are going to be smart. I think so too!

We love you little man. Keep growing and becoming more "you".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Questions for Me?

I have seen other bloggers do this, and thought that I might give it a try. I don't have many followers, so I don't imagine I will get a lot of questions. However, for a period of time, I disabled the Comments section in my blog. That means, you can leave me a comment even if you are Anonymous. Oooooh.

So, let me try this for a few days.

Got a question for me? It can be about anything. Baby, marriage, cooking, personal, whatever! I am glad to answer them or give you my incredibly interesting perspective.

Drop me a line and if I get enough Comments, I will do a post answering your questions.

PPD Update

I realized that I haven't posted lately about my post partum depression and how I am doing.

Here's an update on me!

Most days, I am okay. I feel actually GOOD most days. I am going to counseling once a week and have addressed many of the issues about my depression and anxiety. My biggest issue is that I take things very personally and as a result, start doubting my abilities as a mom. This is something that I talk to my counselor about almost every week. I am getting a little less sensitive, but it's hard.

An example: On Thanksgiving, I visited my aunt and her family. Jack hadn't napped all day and was very cranky. I am used to this so it doesn't bother me. I do think it bothered my aunt and her family though. They made comments about his fussiness and when they did, I started questioning what I was doing. Am I being a bad mom by holding him when he's fussy? Should I let him cry it out?

One day, I hope to not be so sensitive to others' comments about my son and my choices as a mom, but who knows? Maybe I will always be this way.

My medication is helping quite a bit. There are days that I am still blue, but it's not because of my medication. It's usually because I am hormonal because of my period or just having a bad day.

I plan on continuing taking medication and seeing a counselor for a few more months. With my family history of depression, I have a feeling that my PPD will hang around for more than just the typical 6 months that my doctor hinted towards. When I feel ready, I am sure it will be a roller coaster, but I want to eventually wean myself off the meds. I want to be back to the normal "me".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not Normal, But Okay!

So, sometimes Jack does things that make me go "hmmmmm". I wonder if he's normal, or not. But at the end of the day, it's all okay. He is smart, growing and overly curious.

Not normal:
* Drinking the dirty bathwater straight out of his stacking cups.

Not normal for a baby (in my humble opinion) of his age:
* Realizing that he can reach things on high shelves by stacking or standing on something else.

Not normal and certainly NOT funny of any human:

* Farting and then giggling.

Yep, that's my boy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Go Big Eater!

I am so proud of my boy. For a child who doesn't seem to eat very much, he had a voracious appetite this weekend.

It started on Friday when he went to Nana's house (as usual). She always feeds him tons, and this week was no different. For breakfast, he polished off almost an entire large container of mixed fruit with yogurt. Midmorning snack he ate a handful of Cheerios. Lunch consisted of turkey with mixed veggies and some fruit. Midafternoon snack was two Mum Mums and some of Nana's roast beef sandwich (and she may have given him a couple of nibbles of Angel food cake as well). For dinner, he ate with us and had some beets (icky!), applesauce and some of our ravioli. Keep in mind, this was on top of all the formula that I sent along.

I was bound and determined to see if I could get him to eat for me on Saturday. He usually only tolerates being in the highchair for me for a few minutes and I am lucky if I can get three or four bites in him. On a good day, he will eat maybe one container of baby food all day.

Saturday, Jack sampled all kinds of yummy new foods! Besides an entire baby food container of fruit and granola, he had Cheerios, a whole container of green beans, roast beef, some cheese (this was new for him), and his favorite: Peanut butter! He couldn't shove the bread into his mouth fast enough.

Now before you freak out, I have read numerous articles that the AAP now recommends exposing babies to nuts as young as 6 months as long as they haven't shown any previous food allergies and no one in their immediate family has nut allergies. I figure at almost 10 months, with no food intolerance, Jack fits this bill.

Sunday was no different. Jack ate really well again. My biggest surprise was for snack. He ate an entire container of yogurt. That was a snack! Dinner consisted of green beans mixed with rice, and some whole wheat bread with a tiny bit of peanut butter.

Some foods that Jack doesn't like? So far, he isn't a fan of apple juice (I have given him 100% whole juice with no sugar added and diluted it), spaghetti, or meat in general. He has sampled some chicken, but I think the texture doesn't mesh well with him.

I am really, really proud of my boy. For a guy with reflux and gagging issues, he has done so great. In a span of just a month, he now goes from throwing up at almost every solid meal to eating like crazy. I can't believe how far he has come!

Thanksgiving will be really interesting. Since he has shown his love for carbs, I have a feeling he will love the stuffing. And since green beans are his favorite, green bean casserole will go over well.

My big boy is growing up!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Trouble Maker

Well not truly a trouble maker. This child is just mischievous. He takes after my brother after all.


Those are the remains of my Yankee Candle catalog. Apparently, I don't feed my child well enough that he needs to eat paper.

What else does he do?

* Tries to play in the cat's water bowl
* Unrolls the toilet paper in the bathroom
* Pulls books off of shelves and rips pages out of them if we aren't fast enough to stop him
* Opens the refrigerator, cabinet doors, the washing machine and he is starting to try and turn doorknobs.
* He ate a piece of catfood for the first time today. I was unloading groceries from Costco and didn't notice the catfood bag had a tear in it. A few pieces spilled out, and Jack got a hold of one. He had to have been chewing for a while because when I got to him, it wasn't crunchy anymore.

My brother very much had a mischievous streak. This was the child who stuffed peppercorns up his nose, emptied the entire contents of the refrigerator, and most famously: Held his breath until his nose would bleed.
The first time he did this, my mother and father about had a heart attack. Charles was around two and we were all eating a steak dinner. As my mom was cutting my brother's steak, he insisted "I can do it!". He wanted to cut his steak with the sharp knife. My mom and dad told him "no" and apparently this pissed him off. He held his breath, started shaking and turned blue and then his nose started to bleed.

Yep, that was a pretty common occurrence when he was a toddler.

Jack is starting to show signs of these mischievous and temper issues.

Boy are we in trouble. Thank God he's cute.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deep Breath

I am almost to write this out, so bear with me if it seems jumbled and rambly.

These past couple of weeks, I really feel like I have hit my groove with being a mom. Along with those feelings come a yearning: I want another baby.

There, I said it.

I never thought I wanted more children. It was hard for me to come to the decision to even have one. But, as Jack gets older, my feelings for him and children in general grow. I mentioned to Jason the other day that if money was not an object, I would 5 or 6 kids. Can you believe that nonsense?

I want a baby again. If we could start trying now, we would. It would be great if Jack could have a sibling close together in age. But, with the size of our house, and our short term goals not being met, it's just not an option right now. A few things need to happen first. We need a bigger house obviously, I need a new job that enables Jason to be a SAHD and I want to get my PPD more under control. Don't get me wrong, I have felt really good lately, but if I were to stop taking my medication, I would probably spiral out of control again.

It really doesn't help that a lot of my online and Facebook friends are already pregnant with number 2. Some of our babies are close together in age, so I feel a tiny bit like it's a competition. It's not though. Don't misunderstand. I just really have a yearning to be pregnant again and add a new baby to our family.

Jason feels the same way I do, which is awesome. Now, I just need to get my butt in gear to take care of those above goals.

Anyone hiring?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Night Out

Well, it's been 9 months. I think Jason and I have been on a date without Jack a grand total of three times. Let's see......There was the time he needed to get a tux fitting for a wedding and we went to dinner afterwards. Jack was two weeks old at the time. There was the wedding rehearsal (see a pattern here?) when he was 5 months old. There was also the time we went out to dinner about 2 months ago. There may have been a couple of hours during the day on a weekend here and there also.

What I am trying to get at here is the fact that we desperately need to get out as a couple. It's been 9 months and it's time.

Our anniversary is on Thursday so there presents itself the perfect opportunity. My mother-in-law has asked, errrrr.....begged to take Jack overnight. We are finally taking her up on this opportunity. I have tried to prepare her as best as I can. I don't think she believes me that Jack wakes up during the night three or four times. I also think that she thinks he is going to be a perfect angel and sleep well in the crib.

I think she's sorely mistaken. But you know what? I don't care. He will be just fine. Her? I predict we will pick Jack up in the morning and she will be bleary eyed with bags under her eyes. And I will giggle and say "Told you so!".

The plan? Saturday night: Fancy hotel stay in downtown Portland. Dinner at an even fancier restaurant. "Adult time" thrown in there and then a blissful night of sleep, with hopefully no wakeful moments. I think we might even sleep in Sunday morning. I will be shocked if I make it to 7:00 for my "sleeping in".

Sunday afternoon will probably consist of trying to get my dreadfully tired baby to nap while I giggle in delight over my restful weekend. There might also be a giggle or two at my mother-in-law and her newfound realization that yes, Jack really DOES wake up three or four times a night.

Tee hee heee!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Better Late Than Never!

Happy Halloween!

Jack and Mommy at my work party. Isn't his tail the cutest thing?

He is probably the cutest Triceratops that ever walked (stomped) the earth. He even had the "Rawrrrr" down.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jack At Nine Months

Jack, you are 9 months and 1 day old today. I waited until today to post your monthly update because you had your 9 month pediatrician appointment and I wanted to add your height and weight to this post.

I was just saying to your Daddy yesterday that I love you so much and that I miss so many things about you. This isn't a bad thing buddy, it's only because you grow so fast that we can't keep up! I remember when you were a tiny baby. You had so much hair, long fingers, almost unusually large feet, and boy did you make the sweetest cooing sounds. You lost your hair when you were 3 weeks old and looked like a balding old man. I remember the first time you were able to hold your head up, grasp a toy by yourself, and of course, that first smile. Those are the things that I miss: Those first sweet milestones.

For now, I am going to thoroughly enjoy you and your fun personality.

Some things about you:

* Boy, do you have a temper! Your Daddy had quite the temper when he was a baby and so did your Uncle Charles. It must be in your genes! You take after your Uncle in many ways including his mischievous streak. If we tell you "no", you immediately turn, smile at us, and then turn back to whatever you were doing that got you in trouble! I have a feeling you will turn out to be extremely smart and strong-willed just like Charles too.

* You weigh 20 pounds (45th %) and are 29.5 inches long (80th %). You went down in weight percentiles, but Dr. D says that is normal when a baby starts getting more active.

* You still sleep with Mommy. Ssssssshhhh, don't tell anyone, but she secretly likes it! We both sleep better and it's our bonding and snuggling time. You average about 3 to 4 wakings a night.

* You wear 9 month clothing although you are so long that 12 month pants fit you better.

* You are in size 3 diapers still but I have a feeling we are going to need to switch you soon.

* Goodness gracious you are a mover! You are constantly crawling, climbing and getting into things. I can't turn my back for one second because you disappear so fast! You don't like sitting still and playing with toys. You would much rather be exploring. It saves us money on toys, that's for sure, but it makes it hard to "entertain" you. You especially love "adult" things like remote controls, cell phones, Daddy's computer, Mommy's books on the shelf, and any electronic you can get your hands on.

* You stand all the time. Pulling yourself up is a breeze and you are starting to stand on your tippy toes to reach things. You once in a while will talk a hesitant step. I have a feeling in another month, you will be trying to walk. I am not ready for that!

* Lately, some of that separation anxiety is creeping up. You love your Mommy and only want to be held by her if there are people around that you don't know. Even with Daddy in the room, you want Mom. You sometimes will cry even if it's Daddy holding you! That's okay. I know it won't last long and it's only once in a while. When you know everyone, you are more than happy to let them hold you.

* You are babbling up a storm. Mostly just "dahdahdahdahdah" or "babababababa", but once in a while, you will see "deh" or "meh". It cracks me up because you sometimes talk to yourself in the mirror or in a certain tone. When you first see me when I pick you up at Karen's, you have this high pitched "dehdehdeh" that you say. I think it means "I am so happy to see you!". I just wish I knew what everything else you say means.

Jack Jack, we love you, that is obvious. If someone told me a year ago that my heart would be this full, I don't think I would have believed them. I sometimes wonder if I have room in my heart for any more little ones just because I love YOU so much.

Keep growing up little man. You have so many more milestones coming and I am excited for them!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small Updates

Wow, it's been a while. I honestly haven't had time to update these days.

Here is what is going on in our household:

* Jack has another cold, but he doesn't appear to have an ear infection. We are watching him closely just in case.

* My little man said "Dada" with intent the other day. I say with intent because Jason came into the room and Jack said it twice to him.

* I think I need an increase with my medication. Counseling is going well, but I am slipping back into a funk. I don't know why, but I am just not very happy right now. Jack is doing great, my family is great, work is stressful (what's new), but nothing out of the ordinary is going on. Oh well, time to call my doctor I guess.

* Jack is going to visit work this Friday. All the unit's kiddos are coming in to work dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Guess what Jack is going to be? You will need to check back for pictures. Trust me, he looks friggin' adorable.

* Sleep is the same. 3-4 times a night the little man is waking up to eat. Last night, it finally happened: He threw up in bed. He drank a bottle, coughed and then yakked. The coughing must have upset his stomach enough to throw up. He was fine. All the puke ended up on me. I changed him and myself all while Jason changed the sheets. After that, Jack thought it was play time and wouldn't stop babbling and jumping. We were awake until 3:30. Jack was fine this morning but this momma needed an extra cup of coffee.

* Jack still is a slow eater, but he takes after his momma and likes his carbs. He has tried pancake and bread and loves both.

* Last week, our regular child care provider (Karen) wasn't available so Jack went to a fill-in sitter. She was recommended to me by a friend and she was great! Jack did great and loved playing with the other kids. I will definitely keep her in mind if I ever need a fill-in again.

That's about it on our front. Not a whole lot other than being BUSY!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Full Disclosure

I took this idea from someone else's blog (thanks Kristal!). Although I consider myself a really good mom, I sometimes have a few "fail" moments. Here is my full disclosure post about some of my not-so-perfect moments.

* I still swaddle Jack for naps and for his first "put down" of the night. Ummmm, he's 8 months old. In my defense, I one-arm swaddle him and he's seriously like trying to tame a tazmanian devil. I might stop soon. Or not.

* We give Jack Costco brand formula. That stuff is way cheaper than the $20 a can elsewhere. His reflux is all but gone and he eats more consistently now.

* Sometimes, I just need to eat. I don't do it often, but I have put Sesame Street on and plunked Jack in front of the television so I can eat a meal. He loves Big Bird.

* I am really good about tuning out his fussing. He fusses all.the.time. You get good at ignoring it after a while. If I know he's not hungry and just fussing to be held or fussing to fuss, I will continue on with my folding laundry or dishes. He isn't going to die.

* Jack's new annoying thing is to crawl into our pantry and play in the cat's water bowl. I pull him out all the time. Today, I was just finishing up my morning coffee and I didn't stop him. What's the worst that could happen? He gets a little wet. I needed to finish my coffee. NEEDED to.

* If I change Jack a few minutes (or sometimes up to a half hour) before his bath and the diaper is still dry, I reuse it. What? Is that gross? He hasn't peed in it. Diapers are friggin' expensive.

* I don't wash his toys as often as I should. Immunities right?

* I don't make any secrets that I sleep with my child. He sleeps better that way. On the weekends, I take full advantage of this. I will often take naps with him on the couch. He sleeps for up to 2 hours that way instead of his regular 30 minutes. And Mommy gets some rest too.

Reading back over this, I don't sound as bad as I thought I would. 90% of the time, I am a good mom. But sometimes, I just need a break and end up slacking. There you have it. Not so awful right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Was Wrong

I will admit it. I was wrong about Jack's ears not clearing up. They are clear. Which is a good thing.

I think my Mommy Intuition might be off. Which displeases me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In a Funk

All should be happy and well today, but it's not. I am in a funk. I took the day off of work so Jack could have a follow up visit with the pediatrician for his ears.

That is why I am in a funk. I don't think his ear infection is cleared up. This is going on a month now, two rounds of antibiotics (one a very strong, bacteria resistant kind), and many painful, sleepless nights.

Jack has been pulling on his ears all weekend, and his sleep is once again affected. I have had many people try and say "Oh he's fine, I am sure his ears are just draining". I want to scream at these people because I know my child. He doesn't wake up in the middle of the night squirming and crying for no reason. His ears aren't just draining and itchy. Something is wrong.

I hate to say this, but should we take bets? I have a feeling his infection(s) is not gone. If that is the case, I am not sure what other course of treatment they can take. Maybe a shot of high dose meds? Tubes possibly? I can't stand seeing my baby in pain. I want it to be gone so he can be happy and sleep well. I will do anything I can for him to feel better. If there was a way that I could take his ear infections away and give them to myself, I would.

I will update after his doctor's appointment. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think I am. I want this funk to go away and I want to be wrong.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

8 Months

Happy 8 months my sweet boy! I cannot believe how different this post will be from last month. It seems that in the span of four short weeks, you grew up. This makes me excited, but also sad. I sometimes mourn for my tiny little baby, but then I remember that you have so much more personality now.

* You are crawling like CRAZY! Daddy and I will put you down on the floor but we absolutely cannot leave the room or turn our back because if we do, you are already in another room or fiddling with something on the shelf or playing with the knobs on the receiver.

* You have a fascination over the books on our shelves in the living room. You would happily sit for hours and rearrange them and take them off the shelves if we let you. I call it "redecorating" but most people would probably call it "destruction".

* Anything adult piques your interest. You want everything and anything that Mommy or Daddy has. The tv remote, our cell phones, the water bottle, Mommy's laptop (even as we speak you are reaching for it). We gave you your very own keyboard to bang on so Daddy's wouldn't have to take the brunt of your wee hands.

* Goodness gracious do you love to jump! You are constantly jumping on our lap, on our floor, when we are holding you. The other night, you were even jumping in your sleep. It made for a long night for me, but you certainly didn't seem to mind.

* You officially are standing. I caught you standing up in your crib for the first time the other night. Time to lower the mattress!

* You have two teeth, both on the bottom. You have now had two ear infections back to back, you are wearing size 3 diapers and 6 month clothing (although your pants are getting too short).

* Food is finally becoming more the norm. You are taking to solids pretty well. Even though you should be up to three meals by now, you started late and we are taking our time with you. Your favorites are carrots and green beans! Applesauce is your least favorite. I always though babies LOVED applesauce? If we try and give you chunks of food when you are not hungry or it's later in the evening, you usually get sick. Your gag reflex takes over and Mommy will get thrown up on. We learned pretty quickly that we shouldn't feed you after 6:00. Sort of like a Gremlin right?

* You babble like crazy even though it usually sounds more like "bababababab" or "mamamama"

* Can I mention your reflux? It seems to have gone away! When you got your first ear infection, we had to stop giving you the Prevacid for your tummy. After your ear infection went away, your stomach miraculously seemed better! You have been off your medication now for almost a month and you are eating more on a schedule and throw up less than before. Halleluah!

Jack Emmett, you are so much fun. Mom hardly ever gets a break, but you make me smile so much every day that it's worth it. Showering, eating and cleaning are rare these days, but as long as you are happy, I don't care. I love you Buggy! Your Daddy loves you too!

Keep growing big boy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Wee One's Wee One

At Jack's last pediatrician appointment it was discovered that he might have urethral stenosis. While his pediatrician doesn't specialize in urology, she found it concerning that his urethra opening (is that the correct term?) was as small as it was. Dr. D gave me two names of pediatric urologists and when I asked what the treatment for such a situation was, I was surprised by the answer.


Either a steroid cream can be applied to his foreskin to soften it and hopefully help the urethra open up, or he needs to be circumcised. Now, I spelled that word wrong in other blog posts, so I am slightly embarrassed. Probably because he isn't, I haven't felt the need to spell it right, hee hee.


My husband and I opted not to have our son circumcised, so the thought of having to do it months later was disheartening. Slightly concerning, slightly scary and sad at the thought of my baby having surgery. It was a personal choice that we made and felt that circumcision was unnecessary for our son, so it pained us to think our choice may have been the wrong one.


Jack has been able to pee just fine since birth. When we change his diaper in the morning, it's always heavy and soaked with pee. Judging on how often he has peed on Jason and I during diaper changes, I didn't feel that concerned that anything was wrong but it's always better to err on the side of caution.

The pediatric urologist was extremely nice. He was very good with Jack too. I suppose you need to be when you are a pediatric urologist! In the waiting room, it was mostly old men and then our wee one. A sight to be seen for sure.

The urologist explained that it's very rare in uncircumcised boys that urethral stenosis occurs, but he would check him anyways. Seriously, the appointment lasted all of 15 minutes. Jack was disrobed, dis-diapered and then inspected. His testicles were squeezed (no joke) and his foreskin gently pulled back. All is well in the land of penises. Jack won't need to be circumcised after all!

We left the appointment feeling encouraged. Hopefully the doctor visits are going to be few and far between from now on.

Ears

My poor kiddo’s ears. He had an ear infection over Labor Day weekend. A round of antibiotics and much cuddling later, we thought his ear was better. Fast forward to this weekend. I was mentioning to my mother-in-law that I thought something was up because Jack kept playing with his ear. Not tugging or pulling or seemingly in pain, but it just seemed odd behavior for him. On Sunday, he was sleeping more than normal too. He would be awake for an hour and then need to nap. I kept saying to my husband and my mother-in-law that I thought his ear infection was back. “No, no” was Lynn’s response.

Momma knows best.

Sunday evening, Jack slept pretty well. He woke up around 1:00am for a feeding and something wasn’t right. He was crying quite a bit. I brought him out into the living room where my husband was playing a video game and we both looked at each other and said “It’s back”. Crying is not typically in the middle of the night for Jack. The rest of the night was spent sleeping on the couch upright so he didn’t have the extra pressure on his ear.

I brought Jack to the sitter’s as normal and as soon as the pediatrician’s office opened, I called. Thankfully, they were able to see Jack early that morning.

Sure enough, his ear infection never healed. It lingered in the left ear even after the antibiotic, and now, he has an infection in the right ear as well. The pediatrician’s exact words were “He has a pus pocket in the right ear”. My poor kid. Since the last medicine didn’t work and Jack is limited to what he can take (because of his gag and puking issues), she prescribed a stronger antibiotic that he only needs to take once a day. Hopefully, this one works.

The rest of the day was spent at home, snuggling my sleepy baby. He felt fine, not fussy or grumpy. I did make sure he had some Tylenol since he had a slight fever. Sleeping was a little bit of an issue because Jack was only comfortable upright. Which means I had to sleep upright with him on the couch. You gotta do what you gotta do.

My sweet boy is doing much better Whether or not he is going to have chronic ear infections remains to be seen. Both my husband and I had chronic ear infections as children. I worry that we have doomed him to the same fate. If his ear infections continue or don’t seem to clear up, we might need to consider having tubes put in. Medication after medication and my child being in constant pain seems much more stressful on Jack than a minor surgical procedure that could help him for years.

Having a baby really has kicked my instincts into high gear. I never thought I would have the “mommy” feelings and know when something is wrong with my child, but I surprised myself. I know when something is wrong with Jack and have to often convince others of this. So next time I think something is wrong with my boy, back off folks. Because likely, Momma is right.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Sleep With Your Baby?!?

Yup, I do. What's it to ya? This is not information that should be shared with the "normal" world because, let's face it, people give you the side-eye.

I admit, before I was a mom, I thought it strange that people slept with their kids. Then I had Jack and realized just how necessary it was for our situation.

"You are setting a bad precedence".

Thanks, but my child wakes every 90 minutes to eat. If he's in his crib, he wakes every 30. What is worse? Having an exhausted child or doing what's best for both of us? We both get some sleep this way.

"Aren't you afraid of rolling over on to him?"

I was at first, but after a couple of nights, I realized that as soon as he starts to move or stir, I am instantly awake. I don't move a muscle at all during our sleep time. I am confident I am not going to roll over or smother him.

"How do you and Jason have sex?"

Well since we don't sleep in bed together anyways, this isn't an issue. We find other times. My husband works swing and when he's sleeping, I am awake and vice versa. People can have sex at other times than at night. Gasp! Imagine that!

"What are you going to do when you have another baby? He can't sleep with you forever!".

I am pretty sure by the time he's a teenager, he will have transitioned to his own bed. And another baby? Ya'll are nuts. No baby fever here. At least not until my child sleeps.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tooth!

Jack got his first tooth on Friday! It's the bottom left-hand front incisor. It is just poking through. Poor little guy, getting over an ear infection and teething.

Oh, and what they say about diaper rash, diarrhea and teeth? Apparently true for my little man. He has a red bum and pooped no fewer than 6 times yesterday. I had to give him a bath in his oatmeal soap so I wouldn't irritate his heiney.

I wish I could get a good picture of his toofer, but he refuses to let me open his mouth. Come to think of it, don't even try and touch his face. He hates it!

A better picture to come as soon as I can get my little piranha to open up.

Until then, here is the only one I have. Can you see the little nubbin?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Urologist

In my haste of posting last night, I realized that I forgot to mention that even though Jack's penis is fine (saying penis is really funny to me for some reason), the pediatrician did find something unrelated but still problematic.

During the exam, she determined that his urethral opening is too small. While he is able to pee fine and hasn't had a problem, since he is not snipped, this could pose a problem later in life.

I made an appointment today with a children's urologist for an evaluation. In two weeks, we should find out if Jack's urethra will need "help". Apparently they can try a steroid cream and if that doesn't work to help soften the foreskin, they might need to circumsize him after all.

Wow, a whole post dedicated to my son's penis. He is going to love me when he gets older!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby on the Mend

I knew something was wrong on Sunday when Jack screamed from about 2:00am to 4:00 nonstop. He would calm down for a couple of minutes and then start up again. My baby never cries. I chalked it up to teething because he would get the paci in his mouth, suck for a couple of minutes and then cry. I thought maybe his teeth hurt.

Monday, he was a good natured baby. The rough night didn't seem to affect him (although it did me since I was up with him for those two hours). He took normal naps, played with toys and was in a good mood. Monday night, he was back to his screaming, but this time, right after I put him down for bed. From 8:00 to 9:30 he screamed inconsolably. Two nights in a row so I wasn't going to wait any longer. I called my husband and he and I both agreed I would take Jack in to the ER. Jason was still working and I didn't want to wait for him.

I had to listen to my baby scream for what seemed like ages so I could get his diaper bag packed, a couple of bottles ready since I had no idea how long we were going to be gone. I had to put some clothes on him since he was only dressed in a onesie for bed. It was awful. He cried so hard that he pooped. So I had to change him, which just further upset him.

He cried the whole way in the car, which is also unlike him. Once we got into the ER, he calmed down. I had called my mother-in-law so she was on her way to help me and be my support until Jason got off of work. The ER was gross. Not to go into detail, but even with a sick baby, we were still the most normal looking people there.

The triage nurse was so nice. Even though I am sure she was rolling her eyes at me and thinking "stupid new mom, of course babies cry", she was sweet. Jack's vitals were good. He didn't have a fever, which I questioned. He felt very warm to me. He did so great during the exam, even smiling at the nurses.

Lynn came very quickly and she was such a godsend. She was able to distract me from worrying sick and she held Jack most of the time. We had to wait for about 45 minutes for an actual doctor and exam room. While the doctor was nice, I felt like he was just trying to get us out quickly. I talked about Jack's symptoms and explained that although they sounded weird, something was wrong with my baby. His pee has smelled stronger the last few days. Not bad, just stronger. He has been screaming at night, spitting up more than normal, crying and getting angry at his paci after a few sucks and while completely unrelated, the end of his penis was slightly red (he isn't circumsized).

They checked his ears (fine), his belly (gassy sounding), and thought maybe his symptoms were all related to his reflux. Oh, and his penis apparently had an infection. The way the doctor manhandled Jack's boy parts really concerned me. You aren't supposed to pull back the foreskin of a baby who isn't circumsized. He was pulled and tugging and squeezing. My poor baby screamed the entire time.

I left with a very tired baby, two prescriptions and not many answers. We were instructed to follow up with Jack's pediatrician some time this week.

It was a rough night. Jack and I got home at the same time as Jason and the baby didn't sleep hardly at all Monday night. I called into work and spent the night with my baby on the couch. We would get him calmed down, he would fall asleep for about three minutes and than wail again. Jack slept MAYBE three hours from 7:30 Monday night until 7:00 am Tuesday morning. It was awful.

I didn't waste any time calling Jack's pediatrician. As soon as they opened on Tuesday I called. We got an appointment for that morning. Jack was very tired, fatigued and felt rotten as we went to the pediatrician. He slept in he car thankfully.

I love Jack's pediatrician. She sometimes is the only person that listens to me and understands a mommy's instinct. I didn't think the diagnoses Jack had been given were right and I am glad I questioned them.

Jack's ears were plugged with wax so she cleaned them. He screamed which was a sign. I literally had to hold him down so she could clean them and then look in his ears. Turns out, he has a raging ear infection in his left ear. No wonder he isn't feeling good! Dr. D was really mad that they had missed that at the ER. She also checked his penis. No infection. AND, I was right about the foreskin being pulled back. She checked and thankfully it hadn't torn but she told me it should never be pulled back. Not until he's much older.

An ear infection can act like other illnesses. Jack was spitting up more than normal, which is attributed to the fact that he is probably dizzy from the fluid in his ear. He screams at night, which is because it hurts to lay down. He cries when he sucks on his paci because it hurts to suck.

I left her office glad to have some answers but upset that Jack had been misdiagnosed and had to suffer unnecessarily for another twelve hours.

For the rest of the day, Jack was so sick. He threw up almost every time I fed him. This was concerning to me because his antibiotics and Tylenol are oral and he needs to take them in his bottle (he gags and throws up otherwise). If he wasn't able to keep any food down, how would he be able to get healthy and take his medicine?

All day, he slept. He would whimper and cry in his sleep. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I am glad he was finally resting, but he probably was sleeping very fitfully. I held him all day. If I ever tried putting him down, either in his crib to sleep or to change him, he would wake up and cry.

My mother-in-law came over in the evening to relieve me. I needed to get some dishes done, a load of laundry done (I had no clean pants since the Bug kept throwing up), and maybe actually eat something. She held Jack while he slept. Around 7:00, he woke up and finally was feeling better. By that time, he had had his first round of Amoxicillin and some Tylenol and was probably starting to feel more normal. His fever had broken and he wasn't so warm. He was smiling and wanting to play with some toys.

I have to tell you, it is absolutely the worst feeling in the world to watch your baby in pain and sick. I could do nothing to help him feel better except hold him and comfort him. This morning, when he woke up after sleeping for nearly 24 hours straight, only waking to eat, he was a little bit back to his old self. He did sleep most of the morning, but he was finally awake for longer than a few minutes at a time.

I still haven't slept much, or eaten much, but I am hoping since Jack is feeling a little better tonight, that we both sleep a little bit better.

He is going back to Karen's tomorrow and I am going back to work so life is going to return to normal. Jack's first illness is slowly receding. I am thankful that he is now able to keep food and his medicine down. He is still only eating about an ounce of milk at a time, but he has dirty and wet diapers, so I know he's getting enough to eat.

Let's hope that my wee one gets better soon and starts feeling 100%.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

7 Months

My baby is seven months old today. Last night, because I was partially in denial and feeling sentimental, I went back and read my birth story and looked at old pictures. While I miss those days of having a tiny baby, I prefer the present. Jack is more interactive, "talking", and while still a baby, he has such a big person's personality.

Some things about the wee one:

* He is still solidly in 6 month clothing and size 3 diapers.

* He is almost exclusively on formula now, and we are all okay with it. As a matter of fact, his feeding schedule is now very predictable, which is good for all of us!

* While he doesn't nap very well, he sleeps a total of 10 hours or so every night, waking about 6 times. He sleeps with me so waking isn't so bad. I do look forward to the time that he sleeps through the night though!

* Jack now sits up on his own. He can sit for a long time before toppling over.

* Let's talk scooting and crawling. My child can turn in circles when he's on his stomach. He can get up on his hands and knees and go about half a crawl before falling back onto his belly. You can tell that he gets really frustrated and wants to move because he grunts and makes this sound like "oooh, oooh, oooh". It's kind of sad but cute at the same time. I bet next month at his 8 month post, he will have crawling down.

* Jack eats solids, but he still hasn't found his groove. He gets about a tablespoon of any one food a day. He tends to eat more when he's allowed to feed himself, so I either put some whole fruit in his mesh feeder, or get some food on a spoon and hand it to him.

* He is SO independent. He wants everything that you have. Whether it be the remote control, your cell phone or a water bottle. If it's in your hands, he wants it. And when he wants to move, he will squirm out of your arms.

* My boy is strong. He stands up and jumps like a kangaroo. I swear, he is going to be a bodybuilder or an Olympic swimmer.

Jack, we love you so much! I am starting to feel better and while I missed so much with you, I look forward to seeing you and spending time with you. Every day when I pick you up, you give me the biggest smile. It is hands down the best part of my day. Everyone that meets you say how happy and gorgeous you are. Your daddy and I can't help but think it's true and that you are the best baby in the whole world. While you can be fussy, we just know that is part of your independence and strong will.

I love you Bug. You are the best thing I ever did with my life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Counseling

Two posts in one day! Wow! That hasn't happened in a very long time.

I had my first counseling session today. I really like the therapist I picked. I specifically found someone that specializes in post partum depression. It's almost embarrassing to admit, as a woman and a mother, that you have a problem to another woman. Finding a person to talk to that deals with other moms going through the same thing is very encouraging. I didn't feel like I needed to hide my feelings or worry what I was saying would offend or disgust her.

I unloaded. I said things outloud that I never thought I would imagine saying. This might be hard for some of you to read, but I often wonder if I ruined my life by having a baby. Jason and I wanted Jack very badly. We tried for 18 months to get pregnant so it wasn't like I was surprised or out of touch when it came to the needs of having a child. Did I ruin my life? I sometimes wish I could go back in time. The hardest thing that I said outloud today was that I often dread picking him up from daycare because I know he is going to be so fussy and I can't deal with it.

How horrible am I?

We also discussed the fact that I have intrusive thoughts. Not about harming myself or Jack but about terrible things happening. Like someone is going to break into the house at night and I won't be able to protect my baby. But usually the thoughts are much more terrible than that. And they scare me. Lindsay says this is anxiety, which surprised me. I thought these thoughts were normal, but I guess not.

I really felt good leaving her office. She validated me by telling me I made the right decision by seeking help. Most women don't because they are too ashamed.

In terms of my medication (I am on Celexa), I think it's helping. I still have some gross side effects, but I am noticing a difference. First, I don't dread picking Jack up every day. I actually look forward to it, fussiness and all. This weekend when he was crying and wouldn't nap anywhere but my arms, I normally would have gotten overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. This time, I relished holding and snuggling him and trying to make him feel better. I got a whole weekend of snuggle time with my baby. What could be better than that?

I realy do hope that I continue to feel better. Writing and talking has definitely helped.

All Dried Up

Well, it's official. I have stopped pumping. It became necessary for two reasons: I was not able to put Jack down at all this weekend because he was so fussy. Second, I am not able to maintain a supply anymore. Between medication messing up my supply and my body just not being able to, I was not making enough milk. Jack was being supplemented more and more with formula, so it was not worth pumping 5 times a day only to get 8 ounces of milk (if I was lucky).

Sunday at 6:30 I pumped for the last time. It hasn't been too hard to make the transition. It's actually nice not to have to lug my pump back and forth to work. It's nice not to have to worry about storing milk or having enough bottles or washing my pump parts.

What isn't nice? The pain, engorgement and tenderness. Even though I wasn't producing, my body is still revolting. I went cold turkey which I wouldn't recommend. But again, I couldn't put Jack down on Sunday so I didn't have a chance to pump.

I am wearing a sports bra day and night so hopefully my issues will resolve themselves soon. I refuse to put cabbage leaves in my bra, which I heard helps. I don't want to smell like coleslaw people.

So, it's the end of an era. I am a little sad, but I know I couldn't keep forcing something that wasn't meant to be. Some women are just not made for breastfeeding and I am one of those women.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hippy Hair


This picture shows several things: The fact that I can't seem to put a pacifier in my son's mouth correctly, the obvious proof that Jack is adorable, and he has hippy hair.

See those long, wispy hairs above his ear? I am constantly pushing and tucking them back behind his ears. I won't cut them though. I refuse to believe that my son is old enough for any sort of haircut.

My husband thinks otherwise.

I will win this fight.

The conversation this morning went something like this:

J: "It's really time to cut those hairs." (after kissing Jack and getting tickled by his long hairs).

R: "No way, it's not going to happen."

J: "He looks like a hippy. I don't want my son to be a hippy."

R: "He is a little baby. He does not look like a hippy. Didn't your dad hate your hair when you were younger because it was long? And didn't you refuse to cut it?"

J: "Yes, but that's besides the point."

WRONG! It is the point. Our son is not getting a haircut. He can keep those wispy, baby hairs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Groggy

This medication that I am on for my PPD (yes, I was officially diagnosed with it) makes me really groggy. I almost don't want to take it because I feel like a zombie. But, I know side effects are normal and I need to stick it out.

That's all I really have to post. I am so tired that I think I might go to bed. It's only 8:00pm. Oy.

I will post a Jack Jack update another time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Not Mince Words

I am depressed. Let's just get that out there. Yes, I have a beautiful, healthy baby, but I am sad. I have fought this for six months and now it's time I do something about it.

Tomorrow I go see my doctor. I don't know if this is post partum depression or just a really bad funk.

It doesn't help that I am tired, virtually a single parent (my husband works swing and I hardly see him), try and maintain a household all by myself and have a very cranky baby with reflux who doesn't sleep.

I know, cry me a river right? Quit your whining? Is that what you want to say? It could be worse, suck it up Rachel. People would kill to be in your shoes Rachel. I know all this, but it still doesn't mean that I AM DEPRESSED.

My new goal is to try and enjoy the little things. When Jack laughs hysterically at something stupid I do. Or when he sleeps for 2 hours straight. Or when I get the first brownie out of the pan straight from the oven. Okay that last one isn't baby related, but it is still damn important!

I want to enjoy my baby. I feel like I have missed a lot of time with him because of the way I am feeling. I don't really talk about my feelings to anyone because, well, let's face it, being depressed is pretty depressing. No one wants to hear the woe is me story. I was told by someone (who shall remain nameless) that I should pray. I don't think praying is going to help solve all my problems but TYVM.

There you have it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Hate My Body

I realize that I shouldn't complain, after all, my body is at least working. But I am getting my first post-partum period. Almost a week ago, I had the telltale signs of ovulation.

Now, I am spotting.

I guess it was only a matter of time. I heard the first one is awful.

You may find me curled up in the fetal position tomorrow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleep Issues

I have never made it a secret that Jack has sleep issues. I don't know if they are his issues or our issues, but someone has issues! Jack currently wakes up an average of 5 times a night. Generally, he goes for about 90 minutes before he needs to wake up and eat. Yes, he eats every time he wakes up.

This is not unusual for him, although at one point, a couple of months ago, he slept through the night for a stretch of 9 days. He would go to sleep at 8:00, wake up at 2:00am to eat and then back up for the day at 6:00. I know he CAN do it. I honestly don't know what changed between then and now.

I feel like we are at a crossroads. I need to either force him into a sleeping habit or learn to give up and realize that he will get on a schedule and sleep through the night when he's darn well ready.

I am struggling lately with all the parenting advice that is being thrown my way. Even Jack's pediatrician thinks we should let him cry it out. I have never felt comfortable with this approach, but we decided to try a modified version on Friday night. I am going to review what happened along with the other strategies that we have tried along with why I don't think Jack is ready to STTN (sleep through the night).

Friday night, I decided enough was enough and read up on the Baby Whisperer's version of training a baby to sleep. It involves the Pick Up/Put Down method. Put the baby in the crib awake, don't pick him up unless he starts crying. Before you pick him up, try and place a hand on their back to calm them. If that doesn't work, pick up the baby but then put him back down as soon as he stops crying. Repeat this process until he realizes that he needs to go to sleep. By picking him up when he's crying, you are telling him that you are comforting him but that he needs to go to sleep.

I did this twice with Jack and Jason did this over four times. It took 30 minutes both times I tried it. It took Jason the better part of an hour. Jack got so upset by doing this that he hyperventilated and threw up. I am sorry, but how is this method soothing in any way? I am not willing to try it any longer. One night was enough. He was so traumatized that on Saturday, every time I put him in the crib, his face would crumple in his sleep and he would cry and wake up.

The author of this book emphasizes that all baby sleep habits are learned and the fault of the parent (that is my summary at least). I am not willing to let my child cry for that long and get so upset that he throws up. Method fail.

The No Cry Sleep Solution is another book that I have read and we have had limited success with. The methods all make a lot of sense. Create a bedtime routine with your baby and stick to it. Use things such as a lovee or a pacifier so that they can self soothe. Fill your baby up with food so that they don't wake during the night. All great ideas, but again, we have had limited success. Even with a bedtime routine that never changes, Jack still wakes every 90 minutes.

I am now reading Dr. Sears Sleep Book and so far, I like it. He stresses that methods such as cry it out stress a baby out unnecessarily and can cause problems later on. He also states that babies who are breastfed (Jack is mostly breastfed) are made to wake up several times a night to eat. I don't get the impression with his book that it's the parent's fault for sleep issues. He actually has plans for parents who want to co-sleep or for those who want their babies to sleep in their crib.

Now, here is where I don't think Jack is ready to sleep through the night. Everything I have read says that babies who are as old as Jack don't need to eat in the middle of the night. Babies at his age should be taking in double their body weight in milk. For Jack, that is almost 36 ounces. He has NEVER EVER eaten that much in any one day. He is lucky to take in 30. By the time bedtime comes around, he has consumed about 20-24 ounces. That means he still has a milk deficit. When does he get that extra nourishment? AT NIGHT. With his reflux, he still eats constantly and very small amounts. His stomach is not capable of taking more than 3-4 ounces at a time, and even that is rare. He is waking up because he is hungry. By not feeding my baby during the night like the supposed "experts" claim is not necessary, he would be going hungry.

The advice that has been presented to me is generally crap. I have had people tell me "sleeping with your baby isn't beneficial". Well, I would like to challenge those people because when Jack was sleeping through the night for those 9 days, he did so sleeping next to me. And when we sleep together now, he still wakes up every 90 minutes. Regardless of where he sleeps, he wakes up the same amount. I have also had people tell me that I should let him cry it out, try and feed him more solids (which he is struggling with, that is another post), put him exclusively on formula, and other myriads of information.

I had an ephiphany today. My baby is MY BABY. He is his own person and can't be compared to other babies. My child wakes every 90 minutes to eat. That is his way of life and Jason and I need to accept that. We have talked about it and are willing to live with this way of life for a little while longer. We are still going to try some other non-invasive methods, but for now, it's okay. Our baby doesn't sleep through the night and I am okay with that. He will in his own time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

All About Food

Jack has started solids and he seems very uninterested. At first, he seemed to really like carrots and peaches, but now, eating is just too much of a chore for him.

He usually takes a couple of bites but then starts to fuss. I refuse to feed him if he's fussing because I don't want to get into a bad habit of force-feeding him. Everything I have read says that if you do that, you set them up for disliking meal time among other problems.

Maybe it's his highchair? Maybe he is just slower to like foods then other babies? Whatever it is, I am trying not to be frustrated. I don't let on that I am getting overwhelmed. He gets his pill mixed in during meal time so I need to get him to at least take a couple of bites. If he doesn't get his pill, he's pretty miserable.

One night, he ate the peaches with gusto, but yet the next, he threw up as soon as the peaches touched his lips. I thought every baby liked bananas, but yet Jack gags if he gets them. He doesn't like rice cereal and only eats oatmeal if something else is mixed in with it (usually peaches). I have even tried giving him finger food of fruit and he is not interested.

I really want him to enjoy mealtimes. God knows both his dad and I love to eat.

Now about the other food: Breastmilk. You may have read my previous posts about quitting pumping and going to formula. By last Sunday, I was down to four pumps a day (from five). I noticed right away that my supply took a huge dip so I thought, "Oh good, my body is realizing it's time to stop".

Come Monday, I started having huge anxiety about pumping. HUGE! I realized that I don't want to quit. I like knowing that I am taking care of my baby's nutritional needs. I am cheap. I don't want to buy formula. I will still have to supplement because my supply isn't great. Jack still needs about 8 ounces of formula a day.

Here I am whining and complaining about pumping and lugging bottles to work and lugging my pump and all the dishes. I guess feeding my baby is more important than my inconvenience.

Stupid right? But I am happy with my decision (again). I am going to continue pumping as long as I can. My supply is very low, probably because my body wasn't used to the 4 pumps a day. I am back up to 5 now and might eventually go back up to 6 if I can swing a 5:30 pump like I used to.

I wish I wasn't so wishy-washy about making major decisions like this. I was all set to quit, and now I am not. Next week when I want to change my mind again, will someone kindly slap some sense into me? Thank you kindly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

6 Month Appointment

Today, Jack Jack had his 6 month pediatrician appointment. I felt bad scheduling it on his 6 month birthday, but it was the only available opening.

He did so great! I was worried about him gagging and throwing up the Rotavirus vaccine like he did two months ago, but he didn't!

He officially weighs 17 pounds 11 ounces (60th percentile) and 27.25 inches (80th percentile). He has been pretty consistent with his weights and measurements and usually stays in the same percentiles.

We got to his appointment on time and didn't even have to wait. Jack had a blast staring at himself in the mirror and sitting on the exam table. He played with the paper covering and shredded it to pieces. Funny how they get excited over the most simple things. He was shrieking and yelling and having a grand ole time even though I had to wake him from a nap in his carseat. I am lucky to have such a generally happy boy.

I talked to Dr. D about what to give Jack after orange veggies. I always thought it was green veggies but she told me to move on to orange and yellow fruits. This makes me really happy since I am thinking my boy is going to take after his Mommy and prefer sweets. More on that later.

After the appointment, Jack got his shots and immunizations. Icky. He always does so great but I was nervous about his oral vaccine. He surprised me. I came armed with a bib and a blanket to clean up the throw up. He was stripped down to nothing but a diaper in case he threw up like last time. Although he cried, arched and spit out a lot of the medicine, he didn't throw up. He doesn't cry for his shots, but this time he did. I think he was just generally irritated that he had to get icky tasting medicine. He didn't cry for the first one, but he wailed for the second. After a quick snuggle with Mommy, he was all better.

He needs to start taking flouride and vitamin supplement. Not looking forward to this folks. It's just another medicine to give him. Let's hope he doesn't gag.

The low point of the appointment is when I talked to Dr. D about his sleeping. She recommended cry it out. I can't do it folks, I really can't. I don't have the heart to let him cry. She could tell that it made me really anxious so she suggested putting him down when he's fully awake. I am not sure that is going to work either. He is like trying to tame a Tazmanian devil when he's tired. He flails, arches, cries and gets really rowdy. I imagine putting him down when he's awake will be like trying to tame a wild beast. Going in every five minutes to pat his belly just won't work.

I am going to do some more reading before resorting to either of her options. Honestly, his sleep sucks, but you know what? I am not sure it's a problem for him. It's a problem for us, but it's been 6 months. What's a few more months? I have three books checked out from the library on sleep. If they don't work, I will see about putting him down fully awake for two weeks like Dr. D suggested.

When we got home, guess what? He got peaches! And guess what? HE LOVED THEM. I couldn't shovel them into his mouth fast enough. He got fussy in between bites until he saw the spoon coming. Tonight was the most amount of food he has ever eaten. He ate about a quarter of the jar of peaches!

I can't believe how fast 6 months has gone by and I can't believe how big my baby has gotten. Good gracious!

6 Months Old!

Happy Half Birthday Jack Jack! 6 months ago, at this very moment, I was in my hospital room. I had just woken up from a restless night of sleep and was waiting for my nurse to come in and start my Pitocin drip. I knew I was going to meet you in just a few hours and was so excited!

You are getting so aware of your surroundings these past few days. When we sit at the table to eat, you watch us like a hawk in the hopes that you might get a nugget of food. Speaking of food, you are officially on "solids". Pureed baby food is more like it. So far, you have had rice cereal (you aren't a fan), oatmeal (eh), sweet potatoes (yum!), carrots (OMG), and butternut squash (pretty tasty!). In the next few days, we will start giving you the green vegetables. I hope you like them!

You drank from a cup for the first time on Saturday. We were at the beach for our family reunion and were watching Nana intently. You wanted what was in her cup very badly. Mommy gave you a cup of just a little water and you loved it! It was really cute watching you drink and then your eyes get so big when you tasted the water.

Here are a few more interesting things about you:

* You are wearing size 3 diapers and 6 month clothing. You can still wear a few 3 month onesies, but the pants look like you are channeling Steve Urkel.

* Bathtime is fun for you. Immediately after putting you in the tub, you start playing with your boy parts. They are just the most interesting thing to you. Same goes for diaper changes. 3.2 seconds after I get the diaper off, guess where your hand goes?

* You are up to about 8 ounces of formula a day. Mommy just can't keep up with you but that's okay. You don't seem to have any issues with the formula.

* Thankfully, in the past couple of weeks, you have learned to get your gas out. In the form of really loud, stinky farts. Sorry buddy, but it's freaking hysterical! You even fart in your sleep.

* Sitting up on your own is on the horizon. You can do it for a few seconds but then you topple over.

* Sleeping through the night is really far off I think. You still wake up about every 90 minutes during the night. Thank goodness Daddy is on nighttime duty otherwise Mommy would get no sleep.

* I haven't witnessed it, but Nana says you are getting a little leary of strangers. This weekend at the beach, you saw a ton of new people and weren't scared at all. As a matter of fact, you were smiling away all weekend.

* You are absolutely enthralled with the cats, especially Kahlua. You shriek/talk at them in the hopes that they will get close enough for you to grab.

* Speaking of shrieking, you have certainly found your voice! You shriek when you are happy and although it's cute now, I have a feeling it's going to get pretty old fast.

Buggy, we love you! Keep growing strong and healthy. Today, you have your 6 month pediatrician appointment. I can't wait to see how big you have gotten.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is My Baby Slow

I wonder this again today as I read blog posts with babies that are very close to the same age as my Jack.

Other babies are sitting up on their own. Jack does for a few seconds and than topples over.

Other babies are pulling themselves up on their toys or in their cribs. Jack doesn't do this and hasn't even tried yet.

Other babies laugh like crazy. Jack only laughs when he's tickled. He's a very serious (grumpy) baby.

Is my baby slow? I am trying not to compare, but it's really hard. I try practicing things with him like sitting and "walking". I read to him every night. I sing to him. We talk about our day. I point out things when we are driving in the car. He gets socialization.

Trying.Not.To.Compare.

So hard!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cereal Face

Jack was given the go-ahead to start cereal on Friday. I was extremely glad for several reasons:

1. I am hoping the cereal will help "coat" his tummy and possibly help with his reflux.

2. Practicing with solid food can help his gag reflex and possibly put off the need for OT.

3. He is starting to exhibit real interest in food and I can already tell milk isn't doing the job anymore of keeping him full.

On Friday evening, I gave him a little rice cereal. I started with about a tablespoon mixed with some breastmilk. I put Jack in his Bumbo with a nice big bib and went to work.

He didn't seem to love it. The cereal wasn't the problem. It was actually his position. He doesn't typically care for the Bumbo in the first place. Add something new into the mix, like a bib and spoon, and it's really not his favorite.

He ate about 2 teaspoons of the cereal, which I thought was great. He didn't gag either! The timing wasn't great though because he was fussy and seemed like he was tired.

Take two. Saturday morning, I tried again. The Bumbo still wasn't doing it. So off we went to Target to buy him an actual highchair. He needed one anyways.

Saturday night, with Jason holding the camera, we went to work. Guess what? He seemed to like it!

He is gradually eating more every day. He is learning to use the spoon. I let him shove his hands in his mouth when he's eating. Playing with their food is good for babies. It gives them the chance to feel it and get used to the texture.

Tonight, he had close to a tablespoon of cereal. Jack is now opening his mouth when he sees the spoon.

It's rice cereal for a while. Dr. D still wants Jack to wait for new foods until he turns 6 months (which is a few days away really). Until now, he seems to be taking to the cereal.

I know some people hate pictures with food all over baby faces, but plllfffffptttt! It's my blog. I can do what I want.


Look momma, I have food in my mouth and on my face!


I can't believe how big my baby is getting. Solid food! My goodness.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Post

Not really. This is going to be a hard post for many to read, but it's my blog so I can write what I want.

Motherhood is hard. I knew this before I got pregnant, but what I didn't realize is how hard it would be. I had unrealistic expectations about how my "new" Mommy life would be.

I need to preface this by saying that I love my son more than life itself. I wouldn't change him or the fact that I have him for anything.

I sometimes miss parts of my old life. These days, I don't have time to read a book, cook dinner during the week or even take a bath. I was a selfish person before having a baby and I am sure I have a lot of that selfishness still in my persona. I literally have no time for myself. Since Jason works swing, I take care of Jack during the week after work. Add in an extremely fussy and unhappy baby, and it's very taxing. My child doesn't nap very well so I can't get anything done. He does sleep at night, but wakes every 90 minutes. I have "windows" of time to get anything done. I have to hold Jack most of his awake time so this is difficult to get anything done.

I sound awful don't I? I wish I had known before having a baby that there was a possibility that my baby wouldn't feel good most days and that he wouldn't nap for more than 30 minutes at a time. He wouldn't like being put down very much and when he is down, it's for a short period of time. It was a huge shock to me to have a baby that isn't on any sort of schedule.

It's not lazy parenting either. Don't try and say that I can put my child on a schedule because HE sets the schedule. He doesn't eat much at a time so he has to eat often. I can't force him to wait longer or drink more at meals. That just isn't happening. And I refuse to let my child cry it out at night to make him sleep longer either. He's waking up for a reason: He's hungry.

I did not expect these things when I got pregnant. Yes, I knew that my sleep and "me" time would be limited. But, I also was kind of hoping that I could have some parts of my old life too. I haven't gotten a massage since well before he was born. I have not gone out with friends at all. Not even to lunch or to see a movie. I am invited, but often times, I can't arrange childcare. I don't have time to garden. I used to have a huge, beautiful vegetable garden every summer. Not this year.

Where is my husband you ask? My husband is working when I am awake. When he's home from work and awake, I am sleeping. Yes, I receive help from him at night. He takes care of Jack so I can get my 7 hours of sleep (which is broken into segments by the way). I can't expect my husband to get up early so I can go galavanting with my friends. That isn't fair to him.

I am not sure what the point of this post is other than I miss some things. I miss being able to sit on the couch on Friday night, eat a leisurely dinner and read gossip magazines. I miss time with my friends. I miss sleeping in on the weekends.

But you know what? I chose this. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I also know it won't last forever. My child will eventually feel better, sleep through the night and maybe sleep past 5:00am so I can sleep in on the weekend.

I love Jack more than anything, but I also love me and I don't feel like I have nurtured myself at all. I need to take care of myself and people tell me this often. I might listen eventually. And when I can arrange a babysitter.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Donuts and Breastfeeding

Sadly this post isn't about the health benefits of donuts or how they help breastfeeding moms. No, this post is about something that I assume is cultural. Explanation to come.

I was getting donuts very early this morning with Jack. As I was being helped by the very nice lady, she asked me if Jack was a boy or a girl. He was in a unisex sleeper so it wasn't obvious he was a boy. I told her and then she asked "Do you breastfeed or give him formula?". I was slightly surprised by her question but this is not the first time someone has asked me.

I am wondering if this is a cultural thing? She was Vietnamese. The other time this question was asked of me, it was from an African man filling my gas tank. I knew he was African because he barely spoke any English and he had an accent.

In this country, are we much more private and less open about how we feed our babies? I don't mind answering people when they ask me (for the record, I still say I am breastfeeding even though I pump and give Jack a tiny bit of formula) but I don't recall ever being asked this by anyone that was born in the United States. Friends and family don't count because I consider them privvy to my personal information.

Although the gas station attendant situation was weird (it was a man asking me and he asked in strange way), I proudly told him yes, I was breastfeeding. He then went on to ask for how long I was planning to?

I think this must be cultural. I haven't done much research, but I assume in other countries, it is very acceptable for women to breastfeed and be open about it. It is extremely rare that I have encountered women out and about with their children where they breastfeed in public. I did it once at the zoo and I didn't see anyone else that day doing it. Maybe this isn't the case in other parts of the world. Maybe women are much more open and not only breastfeed in public, but talk about it as well.

So, donuts and breastfeeding. That was my morning so far. If you have any insight to this, please let me know! I would love to hear your experiences with this type of situation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Little Bits

It's been a crazy hectic week. Here are some updates/info about the wee one:

* He is now wearing 6 month clothing. I put him in an outfit the other day that I thought for sure would be too big. Surprise! It fit him really well.

* I had to buy Jack new clothes. See above. He doesn't have a whole lot of summer clothes in six months. So, off to Fred Meyer clearance sale I go! It's hard not to buy the whole store out.

* Jack is now only pooping either once a day or once every other day (sorry for the embarrassment little one). I think it's the little amount of formula that he's getting.

* My little guy might need to go see an Occupational Therapist. His gagging is not getting better like it should be. He used to take his pill with no problems. He used to take his gas drops with no problem. This is not the case any more. If we give Jack his pill on a spoon, 50% of the time, he throws it back up on us immediately. We can't put the pill in a bottle because the granules got stuck in all the bottle parts.

This was supposed to be a short post, but oh well. His reflux and gagging is concerning to the pediatrician so if at 6 months he is still gagging severely, he will need to see an OT. She also worries that this is going to effect his eating and introducing new foods. He is extremely sensitive to textures so anything foreign might be tough for him.

* Jack might use his baby pool tomorrow. It's still hotter than Hades here, so the pool is inflated. It's not full of water yet, but that will hopefully come tomorrow.

* We have our family photo shoot next weekend! I am really excited. I hope Jack and Jason cooperate. Jason doesn't like having his picture taken but too damn bad. I want some family pictures.

* We are going to a wedding on the 24th. I have no idea what to dress my kid in. Who thinks of such ridiculous things? I do.

* On the 4th of July, we had friends over for a barbeque. I cooked quite a bit for the day and prepared the house. It's nice to know that I can entertain and take care of a baby at the same time. It makes me feel like I am together and can accomplish things.

That's it for now! I will get some pictures of Jack's first pool adventures if all goes well tomorrow.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Five Months

My baby is five months today! I look at him and realize that I can't even see any "newborn" features in him anymore. He looks so amazingly different from when he was born. If you look at pictures, he doesn't even look like the same baby from 4 months ago.

Our little man is growing like a weed. Just yesterday, he fit into 3 month pants. Today, I put him in a 3 month pant and he was too long for them! Is it possible that he grew overnight?

Jack Jack, Daddy and I love you sooooo much. Not only do we love you, but you have a billion other people that adore you and cherish you. Nana loves you, Papa loves you, all your aunties love you. I have a herd of people that are banging down our door to spend time with you and babysit you.

Here are some things that you are up to these past few days:

* You are doing so well at daycare. Almost every day I pick you up, you are smiling and happy. Of course, there are some days where you had a rough day, but they are far and few between. Karen's boys adore you and love to pat your belly and tell you that they love you. When I drop you off at Karen's in the morning, even though you are sleepy, you give her big smiles.

* You are wearing size 3 diapers now. They are a little bit big, but fit you way better than the size 2's.

* You are wearing 3 months clothes still, but the pants are getting a little short. You have super duper long legs. I think your great-grandfather Stanley had something to do with that.

* You are grabbing at toys like nobody's business. Mostly everything ends up in your mouth, but it's so fun to watch you intentionally grab things. Lately, you love faces. You pat my face and Daddy's face. You touch our lips, our cheeks, rub your little pudgy hand on our forehead and ears. It's the most darling thing ever.

* You aren't sleeping through the night yet, but we are hoping you will soon. Your sleeping does seem to be getting better. You only woke up twice the other night. Most nights you average about 3-4 times a night.

* You drink a little bit of formula now. I am not able to keep up with your appetite so we mix in a little formula into your bottles at night. Just enough to make up for the difference.

* You are rolling over from your back to belly now. You did it for the first time last Friday and now you do it every day like you have been doing it all along.

* Your giggles are awesome! They are still a little elusive and take some coaxing, but if I tickle you on your back or in the folds of your neck, you laugh. It honestly is the best sound in the world. You are such a serious boy! Laugh some more please!

* You aren't sitting up on your own yet, but I am sure you will soon. You can support yourself for a couple of seconds but pretty quickly tip over.

* Sorry for embarrassing you, but your gas seems to be doing a little better. It's hard to get you to take your pill in the morning for your reflux, but it does seem to be helping. Daddy says you don't wake up in the middle of the night in pain much anymore. That is great little bug! We want your tummy and your reflux to be better.

* No solids for you yet, but next month, at 6 months, we are planning to give you a little rice cereal. You tend to gag any time something different touches your mouth so we will be very patient with you.

I could write about you forever little man. You are such a joy and my most special accomplishment. If I could be blessed with 10 babies just like you, we would start trying again.

Look at this little face. So serious and contemplative. I love you Buggy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm So Stupid

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get through life. I can be so incredibly dumb.

My post from last night indicated that we were going to try Jack on some formula. I mixed a 4-ounce bottle for Jason to give him during the night. He doesn't wake up for feedings so I thought by being sneaky, he would take to it easily. WRONG!

He gagged. While sleeping. He wasn't happy. This was not a fluke either because Jason tried feeding it to him again while he was awake. Gagging. Not exactly how I want my child to associate with food.

All day I worried and gave myself heartburn because I thought "What if he never drinks it? Is he going to starve when I run out of milk?" I literally worried myself sick. Then I called Jack's pediatrician. They told me that you can mix it with breastmilk so it's less harsh and more appealing. Ease them into it slowly.

DUH! My friend Jenn told me this as well. Double DUH!

So I tried it tonight. 2 ounces of breastmilk to .5 ounces of formula. Guess what? He drank it.

This will be the protocol for the next week. A couple of bottles of this ratio and then we will increase it to 75/25 breastmilk/formula.

In the meantime, I am doing everything in my power to boost my milk supply. I am trying to give him breastmilk for as long as possible. However, if my boobies don't work, at least I know I have a backup plan.

How am I so dumb people? I can't believe I thought it would be okay to give my kid straight formula for the first time. With his gag reflex and reflux, this was a dumb idea.

Monday, June 28, 2010

First Formula

This is going to be a quick post, but tonight, we are giving Jack his first formula bottle. We don't have a choice unfortunately. I am not able to keep up with his eating. I am only pumping about 30 ounces a day and he generally eats a little more than that. It's only a 2 ounce deficit, but I am not freezing as much as I am taking out of the freezer.

Before the stash gets completely depleted, I want to start him on formula so he can get used to it. I will keep pumping for sure, but going back to work has definitely affected my supply. I knew it would. I have had a long time to get used to the idea.

Surprisingly, I am not disappointed or sad. I am actually liking the idea of transitioning him at some point. Not having to lug my pump to work and deal with the sore nipples. Or washing bottles that I have pumped into.

We will see how tonight goes. My husband is going to give it to him in the middle of the night during his feedings. I hope he tolerates it.

Oh, and no snarky comments about giving my baby formula. He has nothing but breastmilk for almost 5 months. Give this hardworking mama a break.