Wednesday, February 29, 2012

7 Months

At 7 months old, SS seems to now understand that rolling is a form of transportation, and is rolling himself all over the living room. SS is now eagerly eating two solid foods a day along with nursing. Our family all got sick last week, and we went to the Pediatrician's office on Tuesday:

Diagnosis BB: Bilateral ear infections and a resolving respiratory infection

Diagnosis SS: Bronchiolitis due to RSV

We were sent home with antibiotics for BB (Dr. Bean couldn't believe that BB hadn't complained about his ears at all - he's such a tough little man) and a nebulizer for SS, along with a recommendation to increase SS's caloric intake. Although he weighed in at 14 lbs 1 oz (so he gained 9 ounces this month), he has now dropped down below the 2nd percentile for weight. Our pediatrician agreed he looked healthy, but said that low caloric intake is a big factor in RSV recovery and after lots of discussion he recommended that we supplement with formula just for a couple of weeks to give him a little boost until he recovers. SS is eating solid food really well, but it does seem like he is nursing a little less, and he was already borderline before he started solids. I pointed out (to myself) that we had already thought about supplementing before all of this anyway, so IT'S OKAY. But, you know. He ate the formula no problem the first time. Of course now he is really congested and is totally out of his routine nursing-wise, nursing smaller amounts more frequently. Today I had my first ever clogged milk duct - SO painful. But now it's unclogged - after nursing, pumping, massaging, warm shower, warm compress, and then (following a suggestion I found on a website) nursing SS on my hands and knees. Yes, I was ready to try anything. But hey, it worked!

So that's been our past week - I'm trying to remember what happened the three weeks before...mostly all I can think about is how I can't wait to disinfect the house once everyone is healthy again.
We love our 7-month-old sicky boy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ridiculously Overdue Recap: Holiday Homies

Link
One wonderful thing about the holidays is that it brings home dear friends. We saw a few of our favorite out-of-towners this season, including friends who visited all the way from the Middle East. Both our toddlers and our families have grown since I last posted pictures of these wonderful people in this post. Team T and I now have 2 1/2 years olds and have each added new members to our families! We got to spend a few days together visiting the zoo, the park, church, watching our kids play together and fantasizing about what it would be like if we lived in the same city and could have play dates together every week.


Baby B and Lil H




Babies bonding


Tree huggers (and kissers)




Don't you wish this was still how you played with your friends?


The Mamas squeezed in a pic too


BB was so insistent on getting this kiss, he squatted and aimed until he had the perfect angle, it was hilarious


Team T at our church the day SS was dedicated

Ridiculously Overdue Recap: O Christmas Tree

On Thanksgiving weekend I ignored my cold for a couple of hours so we could decorate our Christmas tree.


We adopted our BFF Team P's method of Christmas tree decorating (although we hold off until after Thanksgiving while BFF Dr. A likes their tree up mid-November). We lay out all of our ornaments and then each person picks an ornament to hang on the tree anywhere they want.


We also add a family ornament to the tree each year (another tradition we adopted from Team P - A is a Christmas enthusiast). I like to make the ornament something meaningful to us or our year, but sometimes it's just a cute one.

Here's BB hanging one of a set of four felt and sequined Wizard of Oz ornaments that my grandmother made.

2011's ornament was courtesy of GG, who gave us a personalized monkey family ornament.


Our little family, basking in the yuletide cheer

(Notice there is no "hybrid tree" after last year's debacle...)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Burrito Baby

This morning I laid SS on a quilt on the rug to play - I looked up to see SS rolling on his side, pulling the end of the quilt with him, which snuggled him into this little burrito baby.


(I pulled the blanket corner from his face so I could take this photo)


and then he fell sound asleep.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ridiculously Overdue Recap: Dedicating SS

On December 18th, amidst all of the holiday havoc, we honored a sweet church tradition and dedicated SS to the Lord. Meaning we publicly committed to teaching him about Jesus as we raise him - to being his first disciplers. And also publicly recognized that, first and foremost, SS belongs to the Lord. My friend wrote a letter to each of her children following their dedications, eloquently and honestly discussing this tradition; and because she already said it so well, I'll just point you to her words here and here, while I stick to the photos.


SS's grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins honored the occasion with us.


SS was dedicated alongside our sweet friends' baby, who you can see here next to us.




Praying over our boy


Our family - yes, SS is wearing a little suit vest and slacks and even a bow tie!


Nacky and Papa and SS
(I got a few nice shots of them this morning, but of course the best one of SS is slighly off-center - whatever :) )

Friday, February 17, 2012

Moo

Mooooo.

These are the cries of a dairy cow:

I think my milk supply is starting to decline. I definitely did not pump as much milk as SS drank this week while I worked. I worked a 14 1/2 hour stressful, busy day and was unable to pump at my normal time the last time. And the high stress level and lack of proper hydration (due to lack of time for self-care) doesn't help my milk supply. Ideally, the solution to my (possibly) declining milk supply would be to pump every day when I'm not at work at a time SS doesn't need to eat in order to store up some extra milk (which I do try to do a couple of times a week before I go to bed). However, in reality, adding in a pumping session between feedings (which are still about every 3 hours) alongside getting two kids dressed and fed and diapered and fed and diapered and napped and fed and diapered every day just doesn't happen. So that means we may be starting to supplement with some formula soon if it seems like SS needs it. This is hard for me to accept. I wish I could be one of those moms that takes a "nursing vacation" and just leisurely lays in bed with her baby for a couple days and nurses constantly in order to catalyze my milk production - in my fantasy of this nursing vacation, someone brings me meals in bed and cleans up the kitchen and I am wearing a light white cotton nightdress with lace details and SS is just in his white cloth diaper and SS and I lounge in my white sheets and nurse and smile at each other all day and SS never spits up and everything is light and bright and sweet and earthy. But I have a two-and-a-half-year-old who needs his mama too, and that mysterious person who brings me meals and cleans and launders hasn't turned up on my doorstep yet, so no nursing vacation for me.

So if needed, I will continue to breastfeed and only supplement with formula. Needing formula makes me feel a little like I failed at breastfeeding and mothering and being a natural mama. I totally realize this is silly and not true, but these feelings still exist. Because this is a little disheartening, I started thinking of some positive effects of SS no longer being exclusively breastfed:

- I can drink an occasional cup of coffee and have the occasional Starbucks treat! I drank one full cup of coffee since SS was born, and he was horribly fussy and didn't take a solid nap all day that day. Since I don't have caffeine regularly (not even soda or tea) I am pretty sensitive to it, and poor SS seems to have the same sensitivity. Totally not worth the stress it caused. Baby or Mama.

-I can have the occasional un-perfectly-timed glass of wine or cocktail and not worry about how "pumping-and-dumping" will affect my milk supply and stock.

-I can be untethered from my baby for more than a couple of hours. I mean, let's be honest, who wouldn't want to be tethered to this cute little man?:





It's definitely no hardship. I love that our nature requires our togetherness. But it will be nice to have the option of a little freedom - I can leave him and not have to stress over when exactly I will need to pump to coordinate with his feedings and if SS will have enough milk the following feeding if I pump too late, etc. Right now I would rather just keep him with me and nurse him directly because the repercussions of our separation on breastfeeding stress me out.

-I can stop worrying about how my exercise is affecting my milk supply. I am still playing soccer (TRUE LOVE) and I'm hoping to train for a half-marathon, but am unsure of how this will affect my milk supply.

-It seems like pumping at work will be less stressful because I won't be obsessively counting and calculating every single ounce that SS drinks and I pump while I am gone

Of course, none of this is worth more to me than the perfect nutrition and sweet bond that breastfeeding provides SS - when faced with a choice between any of those options and breastfeeding, I will pick breastfeeding every time. I am just trying to look at the bright side of what might be our new reality.

Moo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Valentines

It was a happy day with my sweet Valentines.


BB was given a card with a lollipop as we left the gym nursery.
"BB, it's a Vaaaaalentine for youuu!" I cooed.
BB promptly pulled off the lollipop and threw the card on the ground, right in front of the woman who handed it to him. I think he thought it was a wrapper. Despite my urging to pick up his Valentine, he held up the lollipop and happily left the nursery.


This isn't Valentine-related, but last week I walked in the living room where I had left SS lounging on his playmat. After getting BB set up with lunch, I walked back out to the living room, and SS was.......gone? Where was he?
I walked a little further into the room and realized the SS had rolled himself right under the couch. :)

In the last week BB started calling SS "Boo Boo Bear" just like I do, only it sounds like "Boo Boo Bayw". His Granacky said she heard BB comforting a fussy SS when she was in the other room, "It's okay Boo Boo Bayw".

"Diamond-tines day?"
If we can keep that up, it will be a lucky, lucky girl who marries BB.


We made Valentine's for a Lovey Party - I looked up heart-shaped animals so that we could make boy paper valentines.


BB picked all the colors and who he wanted to have which animals for the Valentines and colored them and helped stick them all together - those are snakes, a shark, a fish, a sheep, a racoon, and an owl. I love this creative, boyish spin on paper Valentines, but not as much as I loved an afternoon of crafting with one of my Valentines. He's mine.

Friday, February 3, 2012

SS's First Food



Monday night we fed SS his first food, homemade brown rice cereal. At first he seemed to like it, as you can see in our video:

video
(Also, in the video you can hear BB's concern that the food is too hot - BB doesn't like food hot or even warm. A few weeks ago I asked him if he wanted a grilled peanut butter and jelly and I told him it would be yummy and warm, and he said "Not hot. Not warm. Cold." He's such a nutter. A very specific nutter.)

But then after a few minutes SS decided he was not impressed with this strange new texture and unfamiliar taste.



And then we added some banana to it, I thought the sweetness would make him like it more, but he reacted worse to the banana rice cereal than to the plain rice cereal!



Last night we fed SS peas mixed with the rice cereal, and the peas were a hit - he would open his mouth almost-eagerly for the spoonful of watery-greenish-ricemush. BB also wanted a bite, and said "Mmmmmm" in an exaggerated 2-syllables. After shunning the delicious corn and cheese chowder I had made for his actual dinner, of course. Green mush, Mmmmmmm. Peas were BB's favorite in the beginning too.





And sidenote: making your own rice cereal? Ridiculously easy and quick. It really is just rice ground up really finely in the blender or food processor (I use our truly magical Magic Bullet). I made most of BB's baby food too (this is when I learned about the Magic Bullet's magicality), but I never really researched it since it seemed pretty simple - steam/bake/smash whatever food I wanted to feed him and, depending on the consistency I was going for, put it in the Magic Bullet, add water, bulletize (I just made that up when I was trying to decide between typing "blend" or "process"), and voila, baby food. But I bought BB's rice cereal, since that seemed complicated and mysterious. Well, I skimmed through most of Super Baby Food on our way up to Phoenix to visit friends last weekend and I learned that rice cereal really is just rice ground into a fine powder (I thought for sure there was more to it than that - no mystery after all) and that as far as other food was concerned, my original technique was spot-on.



***Sorry for the grainy photos, our camera ran out of batteries and we used our old one - such a huge difference in photo quality!!