Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last Night In Town

We went to dinner tonight.

Table for 5 1/2.

There was a toast.

My sister admitted to crying earlier.

I don't think I realized just how much I was going to miss them until that moment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Official 6 Month Stats Are In!

After seeing the doctor today we have confirmed that he's doubled his birth weight!

Official weight is 16 lbs 8 ounces and 26" long.

We also have the green light to continue to offer him table foods that we are eating, so there will be more pumpkin pie in his future.

Also awesome: once he figures out how to pinch his fingers together we are okay to give him cereals!  Even if there are no teeth!!

I am torn between loving that he is exploring new things and wanting him to stay my little baby boy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Boy And His Tigger

If you look to his right there is a space up there where his Tigger was. Apparently James wanted him closer while napping cause this is what he did before falling asleep.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starting with Sippy Cups

One of the challenges we have next is sippy cup training.

James has to be pretty much off the bottle by his next surgery.  Because of what they are doing, sucking will just hurt him during recovery, so they say to try to wean him as much as possible.

Lucky for us, he's making it easy.  He watches us eating and drinking, and seems intent on copying it.

Tonight he drank a little more out of there.  Just water for now, but maybe something else eventually.

We also have a go at letting him gnaw on a french fry.

He had not interest in actually eating it.  At least not after he sucked the salt off of it....

So, we are up to mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, water from a cup, and sucking salt of fries.

I cannot wait to BBQ for him!

Friday, November 25, 2011

6 Months Have Flown

And I am already wishing he would stop growing now...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful

A year ago, I cooked for my in-laws and had just had our first ultrasound.  We'd seen a bouncing baby, laughed at the movement, and then each called our mothers. They laughed at us and our reactions to seeing a moving baby inside me.

This year, my son slept through dinner, waking just as we were having dessert.

He had a bottle.

Then pumpkin pie.

Apparently the pie was his favorite thing ever.

Life is good.

Now I'm going to sleep.  Because my family wants to shop.

In 5 hours......

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving....

And we spent it at the mall.

Just the girls.  The men at home.

And we came home to one little man in bed, and daddy having cleaned up the kitchen.

Behind me, there are 2 pumpkin pies already in the oven and an apple pie being put together.

We still plan to bake eclairs in the morning if not later tonight.

Tomorrow is turkey and fixings and family and joy.

And being thankful...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Plans

In the last week, James has had 2 tastes of "table" food:

Nilla Wafers and homemade mashed potatoes.

For our own Thanksgiving dinner, we are having the full spread.  All of it is in the fridge, waiting for the baking to begin tomorrow, and the turkey to be cooked on Thursday.

My sister has asked if we plan to let James try any other foods.  And I really wish I was comfortable with it.

But that cleft.....

I'm just afraid something he can't break down due to lack of teeth will end up caught there in the roof of his mouth.  The thought of it makes me worry about what he could do to himself, what could go wrong, and it's the only thing that has remotely stressed me out about the day.

So, for his first Thanksgiving I plan to move the highchair closer to the table after he's had the Gerber version of a turkey dinner.

Then I'm putting some mashed potatoes in his bowl and letting him go at it himself.

He has to prepare for that first birthday cake in 6 months, right?

Monday, November 21, 2011

So close....

We warned that the antibiotics that James is taking could cause diarrhea.

Is that too much too soon?


Last round it did happen.

This time not so much.

And the results of a missed day of proper "flow" has meant a couple of near misses when it comes to him gaining relief.

And when we say relief we mean relief. Poor guy just could not get comfortable yesterday afternoon.

Life is much better now.

But we still are watching him carefully...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do You Know How To Waterproof Electronics?

James has begun sitting up more.

Now he's always been a sitter. He really doesn't want to lean on anyone for too long. His elbows and abdominal muscles get a regular workout and have for months.

But the last week he's spent more time sitting. And this has lead to more usage of his hands. And more items being places in mouths. And getting soaked. And drooled on.

The biggest issue?

He likes the iPhone. A lot.

That and the television remote.

What is it with babies and the electronics you don't want them touching being the only things they want?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Hasn't Changed

Even after being apart for almost 19 months, having my sister and nieces here hasn't felt like we have been apart at all.

We watch a lot of Food Network.

We are getting caught up on movies. Especially chick flicks.

We've gone to the movies to indulge in our Twilight issues.

And through all of it my son has been in the middle of all our laughter. Adding his laughter to it all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Smile Friday

No, I normally do not like to celebrate any part of Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

But when you find yourself at the mall on a weekday, and it's empty, especially the Santa area...

Well, you have to try, right?

And it's totally worth it when this is the result:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When Family Arrives

Tuesday morning, my son met his Aunt and cousins.

And I think he fell in love.

He has not had enough of them, and smiles every time he comes into a room and realizes they are still there to play.

They have fallen too, so it's pretty adorable to watch them giggling with one another.  And the more one giggles, the more the others mimic.  It's actually the greatest noise I think I've ever heard.

And I still have 12 more days of them here.

And Thanksgiving on the horizon...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daddy 1, Sickness 0

Monday morning, James woke up and had the greenest eye boogers ever.

Is that too much info at once?  Sorry.

I cleaned him up, and then a little while later noticed that the right eye was a little swollen and there was more green goop oozing out of there.  I assumed clog duct, did the warm washcloth thing, and told A about it.

He immediately went to Google, read the possible reasons, and then called his dad.

And then called the pediatrician to schedule an appointment for later in the day.

The right eye stopped, but then the left eye seemed to do it.  It was weird looking, and daddy did not like it one bit.

I'll be honest:  I didn't think too much of it.  I was prepared to do warm compresses and massage the duct area to loosen things up.

I was wrong.

James is now on antibiotics to kill off an eye and ear infection.  The ears were barely red, so the doctor said that we caught it before it became something worse, so congrats to us.

Daddy instinct to the rescue!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Organized in the Bathroom

The question for you:

What are the biggest issues you face in keeping your bathroom organized and neat? What are the best tips you have for keeping your bathroom neat and clutter free?

You can see my quick tip in the comments here.  Just look for AEinstei1n.  I'll explain that another time.


Also share your tips and comments there with everyone on how you stayed organized in the bathroom.  You never know what you'll learn!

And if you want to share a moment with others, go here and you may win a $250 Visa gift card! 

Why are you still here??  GO!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In John Deere Green

He was meant to be a country boy, don't you agree?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The One Where We are In Sync

Have you ever heard of a group of women, normally close friends, who spend so much time together that they eventually have the same cycle?  Can you imagine being at the point where you are all going through the same symptoms and sit in sweats on a Saturday night, watching a chick flick, and eating a tub of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream?

By the way, I could eat that every night.

Well, in our household I am the only one who has that issue every 4 weeks.

But over the last week we've all started doing something together every morning.

James has started wanting more veggies and less formula in the evenings.  I'm not going to deny him  peas and carrots and squash if he wants it.  So, now he eats a whole tub/jar of veggies, and then a bottle a little later to fill the space so he can sleep through the night.

Thanks to his new diet, he's become a little more regular.

So, it has come to pass that every morning, he eats his breakfast, we drink our tea/coffee, and then about 20 minutes later we are taking turns.

Everyone has to poop.

What is that they say about a family that plays together, stays together?  Does it apply to pooping?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The One Thing That's Really Changed

We have always prided ourselves on how low maintenance we are.

I can be showered and dressed to go in 20 minutes.  So can my husband.  If you were to call and ask us to be someplace in 1 hour, we'd be there.

Not so much now.

About 4 weeks ago, we lost internet at the apartment.  There was something going on with the line, and so we had to head to the in-laws so I could work.

This had happened last April, and I lost 45 minutes of work time due to the time to power down, pack-up, drive over, and set back up again.

4 weeks ago it was almost 2 hours.

James had to be packed for every contingency.  Spare outfits.  Bottles. Formula. Diapers. Toys. Wipes.

We were exhausted by the time we got to their house.

Now, when we need something, we weigh what it is that we are going out for and how much time it will take.  If it's multiple stops, and it would be nice to all get out, then we all get out.

Otherwise we pretty much flip a coin to see who is headed out the door.

I cannot wait for this part of parenting to pass.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The One Where I Prove I Know Which Cry is My Child's Cry

James is slowly outgrowing his infant car seat.  He's still within safety range, so no worries yet for car rides.

But walks in the stroller have become...interesting.

For a while now, when he has gotten tired of laying against someone or even being propped up against a pillow, he begins to use his elbows and abdominal muscles to force himself upright.

No, he can't sit on his own completely.  But when you are walking someone, and they are attempting to get out of the safety harness, it can become a little interesting to steer.

We'd been talking about stopping the usage of the carrier in the stroller.  This would mean he'd be sitting in a normal seat, facing out into the world, and getting to enjoy the view.  It was put on our "to try" list with him, and that was that.

His great-grandparents had begun coming by one or twice a week to take him for walks.  I mentioned our thoughts on wanting to get him converted to a regular sitting position in the stroller, and they had agreed it might be about time.

So, as a reference, the carrier sits on the stroller, using a removable bar that is spring loaded as a support rod.  It pretty much clamps onto that so it doesn't fall, and when it becomes time to stop using the carrier you just pop out the bar and continue on with life. 

You also should know that this stroller is a newer one, and so it doesn't use normal latches and stuff to move the seat position from sitting to leaning to laying down.  There is actually a cord, kinda like the ones around the waste of some long jackets on the inside to make them fit you snugly, and you use it like a drawstring to slowly slide the seat back up and down.

I really hope this makes sense to you.  I actually wish I could draw you a picture.  But that is not something I can do, so bear with me.

Okay, so great-grandparents leave for a walk with James.  I stay home reading, with A here playing Halo with his cousin.  Everything is nice and quiet, no issues, and we enjoy 20 minutes of talking and laughing at them blowing each other up.

The neighbors upstairs have grandchildren who come by to visit, and they'd been playing and yelling at one another as per usual.  I was sitting here listening to them when I heard a baby start to cry.  And I commented that the baby sounded like he was hurt.

And then I looked at A and said, "Is that my baby?"

He jumped up and looked out the window but couldn't see anything.

I meanwhile was pulling on slippers and repeatedly saying, "That's James.  I know that's my baby.  Where are they?"

I opened the front door and took 3 steps, finding myself face to face with them.

And the second he saw me, he took a deep breath and began crying again.  Which had me hurrying to pick him up.

Well, they had decided that after he began trying to sit up that they would let him.  After removing the carrier, they couldn't figure out how to get the bar off.  They managed to slide him under it and he laid there during the walk, looking around, and grabbing hold of the bar and pulling on it.

The problem came when they got back to our apartment.  They wanted to show us how he was doing in the stroller, but rather than call us out to them, they lifted the stroller up the 3 steps from the main path to our apartment's first floor, and set it down.

Somewhere in that lift, the seat, which they didn't realize wasn't secured because they didn't know how the stroller worked, jostled James.

And smacked his forehead into the bar that they hadn't known how to remove.

James had a small bump which was gone that evening, and I know I was worse off than he was, but I wouldn't let him go for the next hour he was awake.  Then it was nap time, and he slept on me so I could watch him more.

His great-grandparents couldn't stop apologizing.  I did the best I could to reassure them he was fine, let them know it wasn't his first bump and wouldn't be his last, and smiled as much as possible.

My husband got really quiet, and after they left he called his father to vent.  His big issue was that they hadn't asked what to do or how to do things, and that's all he would have wanted them to.


I was okay once James had calmed down.  And as I told the story to my mother-in-law that night I realized I was proud.

Because even in the middle of a conversation, with the television on and Halo noises blasting, and other kids playing and roughhousing, I heard that cry and knew it was my baby.  I couldn't see him out the window because they'd already come up the steps, but I knew it was him.

And I ran out that door to get to him.

I will always go running for him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The One Where I Cried At The Hospital - And Not For the Reason You Think

So, surgery for James' cleft was less than 2 hours.  We were told that once they were done, the wake up process would begin, and to expect another 45 minutes to pass before we could see him.

My son was awake 10 minutes after the procedure ended.  We were called 5 minutes after he woke up.  And we were there in front of him 5 minutes after that call.

And he had 4 nurses cooing over him as he smiled and showed them his big brown eyes, never crying, just snuggling the person holding him.

I really think they hoped we were going to be delayed a bit longer.

As soon as we had the green light we threw together a bottle and fed him.  He scarfed down 8 ounces before anyone could blink, and that apparently was a very good thing.

We sat in recovery for about 30 minutes before a crib was brought to his room and we were escorted up.

I need to pause the story to explain that we had confirmed at LEAST 5 TIMES about the arrangements.  They had confirmed here at the clinic that we would both be able to spend the night with him, there would be a chair for me and a pull out bed from the couch in the room for my husband so our little family could be together.

I really cannot stress how many times I asked about sleeping arrangements, right up until the week before at the last clinic we attended.  Again and again they confirmed the arrangements.

Can you imagine my surprise when our escort walked us into a semi-private room, where a curtain separated my son from another child, and there was one reclining chair and 2 regular chairs to sit in, and no other space??

The person who walked us up left before I could say a word.  None of us (myself, A, and James' great-grandparents) had eaten since before 7 that morning, and it was now after 2.  I sent them all off to get lunch as I wanted to stay with James.

And that's when Brittany walked.

She was the first of the nurses, and when I asked if we were in the right room she looked at me as if I was nuts.  I explained the situation, what we had been told, and then asked what had happened.

And this is here she blew me off.

Apparently we were misinformed, there were no private rooms for "cleft" kids as they are not critical, and the policy is that only 1 parent may stay with the child overnight.  But, she said, she'd see if the floor supervisor would be able to help us.

We never saw her again. 

When A came back 10 minutes later, I burst into tears.  I was exhausted.  This was not what we had been told, and we had never been apart from James overnight.  My poor husband looked heartbroken because he couldn't do anything for me, and didn't know what to say to fix it.

Once I'd calmed down, and the rest of the family came up, we talked about everything and played with James.

And slowly, those tears turned into a bit of anger...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The One Where My Son is a Genius at 5 Months Old

I know I mentioned that James has managed to put himself on his own schedule.

After the surgery, he's been a little off. 

The norm was him up and eating by 8:30, and then getting to bed by 8 at night.

Suddenly he was sleeping until almost 9 each morning.  This meant he was up until almost 9 at night, sometimes a little later.

Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't cut into my "me" time.

You see, mommy sleeps until baby calls for breakfast.  So, once he goes down for those lovely 12 hours, I get a few hours to myself.  Important time to watch my shows, pet the cat, and spend time with my husband.  And if he stayed up later, I lost night time that I was getting used to having on my own.

And then last week I realized what was about to happen....

The time change was coming up.  On his old schedule, this would have meant that we would have been up an hour earlier.  Which would have been too early for me.

I have issues.

Somehow, my wonderfully brilliant James managed to change his schedule just in time to have the time change put him back on his schedule.

My son is a genius!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Sweetness

He fell asleep for 30 minutes.

Then he woke up and smiled at me. Didn't make a sound, just smiled and touched my cheek.

Then he put his thumb in his mouth and went right back to sleep.

It's been another 30 minutes and I just can't bear to put him down...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Difference

Me:  I am not getting sick....I am not getting sick....I am not getting sick.....

Him:  I think you're kidding yourself.  I heard you coughing this morning.

Me:  But I am not getting sick.

James:  Grrrrrrrr  *giggle*

Me:  And the difference is I CAN'T get sick.  Cause if I get sick then this household will go straight to hell, so I am not getting sick.....

Him:  *coughcoughcough*  *pulls blanket tighter around himself on the couch*

Me:  See what I mean?

My husband may not complain at all when he is sick, and takes care of himself pretty well.

But he is pretty useless on the day to day stuff while ill, and I find myself having to kick start him to do things.

Like laundry.

Which he did today.

And will be doing more tomorrow...

Friday, November 4, 2011

The One Where I Admit I Can't Do It All

Last week was a whirlwind.

We left Tuesday afternoon, spent the night in a hotel, then dealt with James having surgery, then the fiasco at the hospital about sleeping arrangements (I owe you that story, and you will get it), and then dealing with getting the okay to come home Thursday and picking up a prescription the NO ONE carried for our son.

Also another blog post to come.  Promise.

Thursday afternoon, A was feeling off and attributed it to pressure change from an incoming storm.

Friday morning he had a tickle in the back of his throat in the morning.  By that night he was coughing and miserable.

And not allowed near the baby.

For the last week, I've worked 11-12 hours a day, made sure James ate, slept, took his medicine, made sure A ate and slept as much as possible, and tried to make sure I showered.

Originally, James was to be going to get his stitches out with his daddy, grandaddy, and great grandaddy.  In the end, I was up at 6am to get ready to be picked up by his great grandaddy so we could make the trip up for his appointment and be back by noon so I could start my work day.

Which did not end until 9 that night.

The night before this trip, my iPhone died.  I know, poor me.  But it hit me all of a sudden that I'd lost all his pictures, videos, all my contact info, and on top of that was going to be separated from A for most of the next day with  no way to really reach him.

I did the only thing I could think of:

I called my mommy and cried.

And of course, she fixed it.

Has the week gotten better?

Slowly but surely.  My husband is on the mend, I am refusing to get sick, and James is oblivious to anything being wrong.  In fact, he's loved the 100% mommy time more than anything.

But I've learned I need A.  More than anything, I need the help he gives me and the stuff he does for James everyday.  And I need to thank him more often for that.

Which I will do.  Once the laundry is done.  And he isn't coughing and I'm not trying to suppress one.

Thank goodness it's the weekend and our son sleeps in.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On Napping

We've always taken our cues from James.  He has determined his feeding schedule.  He has determined his nap schedule.  He even seems to know what time he should be in bed.

And yes, he does have a schedule for the most part.  If you force things too soon he will growl.  Which just results in giggling, and then no nap, so he gets his way.

Yeah, we are in so much trouble.

For the most part, we get 2 small naps, one at about 10:30 am and another around 12:30 pm, each lasting 30 - 45 minutes.  Then we are blessed with a roughly 2 hour nap around 3, and then he's up until bedtime at about 8.

Again, he's done this all himself.

Being the new parents we are, when we were having issues with him napping, we would just let him sleep on us.  It was a guarantee he'd sleep, but whoever took the nap shift was stuck.  Literally pinned down.

Slowly, we began the process of getting him back in his crib.  It was a success, with the only problem being that he NEVER napped more than 30 minutes.

Personally, I think he was afraid he'd miss something.  Like we were having a party as soon as he went down.

How do babies know this??

What I think is funny about the crib naps is what happens if he sleeps longer than those 30 minutes.

Let's take this morning as an example, okay?

He fell asleep on daddy at 10:30.  Daddy laid him in his crib at 10:35.

At 11:30, I looked at the clock and mentioned he'd been down an hour and should be up any time.  I also told daddy to wash some bottles so we were prepared.

At 11:45, daddy checked on him.

At 12:30, I went and checked on him.

At 1, daddy peeked again and then said he should have taken advantage of the nap earlier and played Batman:Arkham City.  He then decided to try and play a little since we apparently had a good nap going.

James made noises at 1:30.

3 hours.  He slept for 3 hours, soundly snuggled under his blankets.

His parents just wondered if he was still breathing.  And realized we probably weren't going to get another second of sleep from a nap again today.

Any tips on entertaining a 5 month old that anyone wants to share??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another First

I never thought that my son would have surgery before celebrating his first Halloween.

But life is what it is, and that's what happened.

Also factor in that we seemed to have gone from Summer to Winter in the span of 10 days, and even were anticipating snow this last weekend....

We went trick-or-treating at the mall.

I've never done this, even growing up we always went out, so I didn't know what to expect.  For the most part, it was VERY organized, with people following along in 1 direction, and kids patiently waiting in line for things at some of the bigger stores.

The only complaint was that I wish they had an age limit.  Mainly because my youngest SIL is only 9, and she kept getting stuck behind or in the middle of large groups that consisted of 2 small children, 3 teenagers, and 4 adults.  And they all were taking candy.

James dressed up, sat in his stroller, and we rode around with the family.  He looked at everything, smiled and laughed at the puppy at the pet store, but I didn't go grabbing candy.  We had gotten a late start, some places were out of goodies, and he wasn't eating it.  And we didn't need it at home to eat.

I really have to remember to take him back to the puppy store....

And now, without any further ado, I present Iron Man, sticking his tongue out in the face of danger: