Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Making Friends

As I mentioned in previous posts, our big event of the weekend was making it out to Victor (way other side of the city) to see some long-time family friends. Here's the quick rundown. The Dohertys went to college with my parents and all four of them have remained friends ever since. They have three kids--Laurie is around my brother's age, Ricky is close to mine, and Dennis is a couple years younger. Over the years both families would get together periodically. The most memorable of those get-togethers was probably the Bills' playoff game against the Houston Oilers where they made that record-breaking comeback to win and head off to (lose) the Superbowl. We actually got to watch the game, which was blacked out in WNY, because the Dohertys could get Syracuse TV. Anyway...that was cool. At some point the family moved to Philadelphia for a few years. All of us kids were getting older at that point so the family get-togethers were pretty much over by then anyway. However...a few years back, Mr. & Mrs. Doherty moved back to Rochester and the parents have since resumed periodic visits, many of which center around Knighthawks games. In the meantime, all of us kids have grown up, three of us have gotten married, and now all three of us have kids. Crazy.

Well, last year around this time, when word started getting out about my pregnancy, it turned out that Laurie was pregnant as well. She (and her mom) became faithful blog readers (woohoo!), and it's spawned a nice friendship as we've gone through pregnancy and parenthood together, albeit 9-1/2 weeks apart. Our parents have also enjoying becoming grandparents together. Laurie and her mom actually met Jacob the day he was born, since Laurie happened to be in town for her baby shower and they were in the vicinity of the hospital. That was cool, since all of our interaction over the course of our pregnancies had been via email, and then she got to see my baby, and I got to see her with her cute little bump! Side note: I said this weekend that we should be the poster women for post-pregnancy life...we both got our figures back rather quickly (or so it appears in clothes anyway)!

Colin was born in late August and all along we've marveled at how similiar our paths have been, from smooth pregnancies to all these little baby steps (pun intended) of life with an infant. My blog is a preview for her of what's to come a couple months down the road, and I enjoy reading her mini-blog (on Colin's Shutterfly photo page) to see life in the rear view mirror a bit :) Although, Colin's doing better with solids than Jacob right now, so perhaps she'll start giving ME previews on more things as we go along! It's been fun, though, being able to share stories and experiences with someone going through the same sorts of things.

Unfortunately, she lives down near Philly, so we won't get to see each other in person very often. But this past weekend she ventured up (very brave to drive that far with a five-month old!) and at long last on Sunday we made it out to visit so Jacob and I (and Craig, too) could finally meet Colin! We had a really good time, and here are some pics...

Jacob loves his Christmas moose and routinely chews on his snout. He tries to do it to Mommy & Daddy's moose collection, too, but there's a reason he has moose of his own ;-)


Apparently all the activity got to be too much, and he used his moose as a pillow...so cute!


The boys were just hanging out...Colin didn't quite know what to make of Jacob just yet. Colin's also not a big fan of tummy time yet, but Jacob's getting to be an old pro. I can just see the wheels turning now when he's on all fours, thinking, "How am I going to get over there? Maybe if I just move this leg..."


Apparently the activity got to be too much for Colin, too...or maybe the rug is just that soft! But seriously, how sweet is this picture? Remember the commercial where the screaming baby just falls asleep when it hits the carpet? I think the boys were auditioning...


Does it get any more precious than that?


Well, Jacob did try to hold Colin's hand. That's pretty precious, too. Although he probably just wanted to do a taste test...Jacob's hands are probably losing some of their flavor considering how much he sucks on them.

The visit ended with Colin falling alseep while his grandpa had him perched on top of a big rocking armchair. It was so cute to watch his little eyes get heavy. All in all it was a nice visit and we're definitely looking forward to the next one. The boys will be that much more interactive and playful by then, so it should be a good time. Thanks to everyone for the hospitality, and we can't wait to do it again!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Good and the Bad

Just some tidbits from the weekend through this morning...

The Bad: Jacob's pooping schedule definitely threw off our Saturday a bit.
The Good: He seems fine after all of that, and we still managed to have a fun weekend. Jacob went to his first indoor lacrosse game on Saturday night, and was a very good boy. He even got a mention on the radio when we went up to visit Daddy in the press box! On Sunday, at long last, all three of us had a lovely visit with Colin and Laurie. I will post pictures soon. Colin wasn't quite sure what to make of Jacob, but he is such a cutie! I'm sure as they both get older there will be many fun times ahead. We just had a really nice visit with the whole family, and it was a nice change of pace for a Sunday afternoon. We don't get out much, so it was nice to interact with some other people for a change! :)


The Bad: Jacob still didn't get a clean bill of health at the doctor this morning. While he seems a lot better and isn't audibly wheezing, the doctor could still hear some when she took a listen. It is probably an indicator that there's some asthma going on there. We have to keep up one nebulizer treatment a day to help strengthen his lungs against any illnesses he may get, just to get him through the winter cold season. We're going to a specialist in March, so we'll see what they find. In the meantime he's got to go get an X-ray and one other procedure that makes sure he's not aspirating food into his lungs. He shows a couple signs of acid reflux, which could lead to food aspiration, which can masquerade as asthma. He was on the reflux medication for a while, up until a month ago, and it turned out that the dose he was on was low for his current weight...but since he seemed ok, we figured he was probably better. But shortly after that, he started arching his back a lot when he was upset, which can be a sign of reflux. It's tough to say for sure that it's that, because his spit-up symptoms aren't that bad, but to be on the safe side he's back on it. We'll see if it makes a difference. He hasn't gained any weight in the last month, which doesn't surprise me at all. Between not feeling good, not eating well, and not taking solids, I was actually afraid he'd lose weight.
The Good: Despite all of this stuff, he seems to be feeling good. He was super happy for most of the weekend. The cough isn't bad but does show up periodically, eliciting sympathetic looks from people when we're out and about. But it's so much better than it was, and his mood is really great most of the time. The doctor didn't have much advice about solids, but said to keep offering them. She suggested a type of Yo-Baby (baby yogurt) that has cereal and fruit, so that may be something to try to keep up his iron. We can also try finger foods that dissolve easily, so we'll look into that, I guess. And hopefully the reflux medication means that he'll be back to eating normally soon--no more cutting out early, arching his back and whining. And tonight, he did eat some cereal and bananas...not exactly excited about it, but he did open his mouth periodically. That much can be considered progress around here, sadly! Daycare did offer to try to feed him cereal there, to take advantage of the peer pressure situation. I don't know why I'm hesitant...whether it's just because I don't want them to have to deal with potential meltdowns (particularly when I haven't conquered them myself yet), or I just don't know what to tell them to do because he hasn't done anything consistently enough here for me to have specific instructions. Something to think about, though.


The Good: The doctor noticed that you can just see Jacob's two bottom teeth under the surface of the gums. That was a shocker, despite the bad week of teething a couple weeks ago and the fact that he's been drooling and chewing on his hands for months.
The Bad: I am fearing those teeth like few other things in the world right now. All this time I've been hoping to make it to a year with breastfeeding, but teeth definitely complicate things. When Jacob gets lazy and gets distracted while eating, he tends to bite down. Gums hurt enough, never mind what teeth might do. The doctor gave me some tips for dealing with biting, to hopefully nip it in the bud (no pun intended) before it happens too often. I'm also a little sad that his 100% gummy smile will be going away sometime soon. I know those two little teeth will have a charm all their own, but when you've fallen in love with one smile, it takes some getting used to to think of it changing. One more sign my little boy is growing up fast!


The Bad: We still have a sick little boy with no real end in sight. It's discouraging because we've waited so long and tried so many things. I'm convinced Jacob has a longer list of prescriptions on file at Wegmans than I do.
The Good: What he has appears to be fixable. As I mentioned in another post a while back, at times like this I always try to remind myself that this isn't that bad. It may be hard to watch and a little inconvenient at times, not to mention expensive (co-pay after co-pay...), but it's not cancer, it's not some horrible disease, and it's not something that should stick around forever. It may not be easy, but in the grand scheme of things, we're blessed to have a relatively healthy and happy little boy. He doesn't seem that thrown off by most of this, so as long as he's happy, I can be happy too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Baby's Schedule

A baby's schedule never tends to exactly mesh with yours. No matter how you plan, no matter how well you think you know your baby, it always seems like they've got some sort of trick up their sleeve whenever you think you've got them figured out. I had our day all planned out. We had a lazy morning, mostly just working around Jacob's eating and my getting ready, and then we headed out to the bank and Wal-Mart for a couple things. I was thinking of going to Wegmans, too, but decided it was just for one thing and it was more of a hassle to run in for one thing when I had Jacob with me...much easier to do it alone or when Craig was in the car and could stay with Jacob. Not worth spending the time today. I grabbed lunch while we were out, and we headed home. Jacob napped a little while we were out, and when we got home he was hungry. I wanted to eat my food while it was hot, and Jacob happily played in his Jumperoo while I did. Just as I was finishing up, I heard and saw (via his "poopy face" that he makes when he pushes) that Jacob pooped. He woke up with a dirty diaper this morning, so this one made sense since he usually poops in twos. Jacob is now officially the king of the blowout. At least three of every four poopy diapers is a blowout of some sort. I've tried two brands, a few different types within those brands, and no luck avoiding the blowouts. Ugh. And I know he's not to big for the diapers, so I can't really go up a size right now. So yeah, big nasty blowout. I cleaned him up and left him rolling around in his crib while I went to scrub everything out, and when I came back up he ate. By the time he was done we were cutting it close to make it out to Victor before 3:30, the end of the open house hours to visit with Laurie & Colin, who I think I mentioned in my last post. Still, I pressed on. Well, just as he was in his snowsuit and carrier and sitting by the door waiting for me to get my shoes on, I heard him fart again. He made the poopy face again. Three poops in one day has happened before, but not often. Not willing to take a risk with the blowouts, I gave up hope of getting out to Victor and got him out of his seat and snowsuit to go change him. He had indeed pooped (only a little on his onesie by the legs), but while I was changing him (and in between diapers, of course) he pooped again. So that meant more cleanup. Ugh. I am REALLY sick of scrubbing poo out of stuff. Seriously. I gave myself a blister doing it before Christmas, and it almost came back today.

Well, I did a load of laundry (no time like the present), and we then took a nap on the couch for a couple hours until we had to start getting ready to go to the Knighthawks game. I never make it to games on time anymore, no matter how early I aim to leave. I think Jacob ate around 6, and I ate my dinner at the same time. At 6:30 I got him changed, put on my Knighthawks shirt, and started getting him back into his snowsuit and seat. I ended up running and grabbing a couple things while he was waiting for me, and just as I was ready to put on my second sneaker, I heard it again. Another fart. And another round of poopy face. Are you kidding me? Well, by the time I got him out, changed him (no blowout this time) and got him back in his seat, we were on target to once again be late. Ugh.

We got there about five minutes late, and actually had a pretty good time. He took a nap while we were wandering, and generally stayed in a good mood. Too bad the Knighthawks stink and lost again. Much closer this time than the rest of their games this season, though. Jacob fell asleep again on the way home, woke up smiling while I changed his diaper and got him in his PJs, and only fussed for a couple minutes before falling back to sleep. We'll see how the changed evening schedule impacts his sleeping overnight.

So, we shall try to visit Laurie & Colin again tomorrow. I hope it works this time, because I've been looking forward to this for a while, and I'm not sure when we'll get a chance again. Today was just one of those days when a baby's schedule takes over your world, and there's nothing you can do about it. Minor stuff, I know...but it definitely takes some getting used to!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Peer pressure

In light of Jacob's dislike for solids, I've been joking a bit that I keep hoping that peer pressure will get him to eat. I think most of the kids (if not all) in his room at day care eat solids, and I keep hoping that seeing them up in their high chairs chowing down will make him want to do it, too. No such luck yet, as we had another failed attempt at bananas tonight. I thought we had turned a corner last night when I got him to take a couple fairly willing bites of banana and he seemed to like it a bit, but I couldn't duplicate the feat tonight. On a side note, I'm really starting to enjoy mashed bananas and homemade applesauce myself! But having him watch me eat his food isn't working either, apparently. It's times like this that I wish I was a stay-at-home mom, just so I could have more time to experiment with feeding him at other times of the day. He's usually in a pretty good mood after his early evening feeding, but whether he's just not hungry, not interested, or is indeed traumatized by the whole thing, I have no idea. While I know that solids aren't totally necessary at this point, it's still a good skill for him to be acquiring, and rice cereal is a good source of iron, which he will start needing shortly.

I suppose Mommy is feeling as much peer pressure as anyone these days. I mean, some people start solids at four months. I honestly didn't see the point in it, partly because it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary extra work, partly because of the whole allergy thing, and partly because I figured the doctor would have some words of wisdom about it at Jacob's six-month well visit and I'd get the scoop then. Well...the doctor was no help (though I am going to ask again Monday), and I have come to the conclusion that I will probably start just a little earlier with baby #2 (no news...just a mental note) just so we have more time before I start getting panicky. But anyway...when it comes to the people that did start solids early, they see me with my seven-month old and probably wonder what I'm doing wrong that he's not eating them yet. I see babies younger than him at day care eating and worry that he's falling behind. I know that's just the paranoid new parent thing kicking in, but still...it's making me nuts. I think he's up there with the best of them when it comes to things like sitting, standing, pushing up and rolling over, but when it comes to actions like opening his mouth for food, blowing raspberries, or sticking his tongue out on command (all stuff a lot of babies mimic from early on), he just doesn't. The one thing he does mimic--and I am quite grateful for this one--is smiling. Ahhh. The peer pressure thing even extends a bit to clothing. I haven't sent Jacob to day care in a sleep 'n' play (basically like a sleeper, but maybe not quite as cozy) because I never see any of the other kids wearing them.

I know you hear over and over about how all babies are different and you can't really measure them against each other. I know that's true, but sometimes the mind does wander into that minefield. As a new parent you can't help but wonder what you're doing right or wrong, and any source (no matter how irrational) sometimes gets a passing glance. At the end of the day, Jacob seems happy, though...so I know we're doing something right. I just don't want him to walk into school one day and discover he's the only kid who still __(fill in the blank with embarrassing thing here)__, because it never occurred to us to stop doing it. My current issue like that is when we stop putting him in his carrier for anything other than a car ride. He's getting quite heavy in the carrier, but it's still more convenient sometimes. But now that he can sit up we're getting closer to the point where he'll be able to sit up in a shopping cart or restaurant high chair. Going in to day care it still makes sense only because some days I need to leave his seat there for Craig to take him in the afternoon, and the last thing I want to do is carry Jacob in one arm, his empty seat in another, and be fighting with the diaper bag and my purse and keys all the way into the building. But still...there must be a point at which that is necessary and I'm afraid of sticking with the status quo a little too long, to the point that I'm getting funny stares out in public.

So, anyway...I just find it ironic that I'm getting peer pressure from Jacob's pint-sized peers (well, and maybe their parents by association as well) and he's only seven months old. Scary to think what age seven or 17 will look like! Speaking of peers, we're off to see one this weekend...a friend of the family is in town with her five-month-old (hi Laurie & Colin!) so we'll be heading off to meet the little guy at some point--probably Saturday, assuming Jacob's schedule cooperates-- and get what we hope will be one of those pictures to look back on in 20 years and smile! We might finally make it to Jacob's first lacrosse game as well, but that's a long day so we shall see. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seven Months

Well, we've made it to seven months. Wow. It boggles my mind a bit that we're now closer to Jacob's first birthday than his birth. While I never looked at monthly milestones in a very specific way (like, "Oh, at seven months he'll be doing 'x'"), but whenever I'd see a baby at a certain age, I could hardly imagine what Jacob would be like at that point...but was always excited to think about it. I suppose I took some comfort in the thought that by then we'd be much more comfortable with this parenting thing. We are, but each stage brings with it a whole new set of issues. Currently I'm completely perplexed by solid foods, living in fear of further teething spells, and worried about when Jacob gets mobile. I don't know if it's necessarily harder than worrying about the many things we worried about early on, but then again, everything seems worse when you're sleep deprived. I know the problems will get bigger from here on out, so I guess I just need to hold on tight.

It's just amazing to think that we've been lugging around that car seat for this long, that two full seasons have come and gone since he's been around, and our lives haven't been our own for nearly 2/3 of a year. It's been an amazing experience...exhausting but amazing. I think parenthood has been about what I expected, though sometimes harder and sometimes easier. I think I took to certain aspects of it better than I thought I would, anyway. Low expectations, though, I suppose...I was afraid of a LOT :) This has definitely become our new normal, though. There are definitely days when I long for no responsibility...to just come home and plop on the couch. Instead most days it's dinner, playing with Jacob, feeding Jacob, maybe a bath or another attempt at solid food, putting Jacob to bed, bottle washing, dishwashing, and maybe a trip to Wegmans if I'm especially unlucky. Sometimes I'm lucky to be able to sit and watch a TV show or two...even luckier if I can pay attention to most of it. Still, I wouldn't change it for the world. Just one smile and I'm smiling too.

Not much to report these days, just a couple small things. He's still coughing and still has a runny nose, but he seems better. We'll see if the cough goes away completely any time soon. We've been through this before, and of course it never did. He's been sleeping better (knock on wood), so things must be bothering him less, whatever was causing the disasterous sleeping situation. He still has moments where he's fussier than usual, but they're interspersed with happy moments so they're easier to handle. No teeth yet, though. Solid food is still a no-go. I'm not sure what to try next. We attempted cereal and homemade applesauce the other night, and while he didn't spit out the bites I got him to take, he didn't take a lot and still won't readily open his mouth for me. I don't know how long I should keep waiting, or how to trick him into getting to like food. His normal feedings have been shorter lately too, for some reason, so I'm worrying for the first time in a while that he's not getting enough to eat. He really should be making progress on solids right now and we're just stuck. I guess I'll have to ask the doctor next week at his follow-up appointment what they suggest for dealing with a hunger strike. Mental note for child #2...start earlier. On a brighter note...last night we were playing on the floor and Jacob was down on all fours. A couple times he actually got his butt up in the air, which means we're just a few shuffles away from some sort of crawling action. We definitely need to get around to the babyproofing.

Well, time to go and catch up on some TV while Jacob's asleep...and then off to bed so we can get some sleep of our own! Good night!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weird...

So get this...tonight I went to look for Jacob's tooth on the side of his mouth, and it wasn't there! Now, seriously, I know there was something there for a good couple weeks. I looked at it often, felt it, and know that it was there. I thought it was odd that he'd be getting a tooth there already, but it made sense based on chewing on his hands on the side of his mouth, and getting those teeth early does happen. I couldn't absolutely confirm that it was a tooth because I could never get a great look at it, but it was a little white dot about the size of the head of a pin, and it felt hard...what else could it be? It's not like he ate a potato chip and a piece got lodged in his gums. Maybe it was something from a toy he chewed? But to be there for a couple weeks and then disappear? So strange. I can't help but wonder if it had something to do with his freakout this week. Considering it had been there long before, I don't think it necessarily caused it, since he'd probably have been freaking out when (if) it got lodged in there at some point around Christmas. But maybe if it got dislodged it gave him some discomfort. Maybe it was akin to a bone chip in his gums that just formed there and was migrating out. Some babies are born with teeth that fall out shortly after birth, so maybe that was his...it just wasn't a full tooth and it took a while to make an appearance. I am so perplexed.

In any event, Jacob had another good night last night. I slept until about 6:45, I think. So nice. Then later on we took another nap before officially getting up for the day around 10. I'm still sleepy tonight, but it was great to get some rest and not worry about getting up for work. Church tomorrow, though. His mood was great today...lots of smiles and very little fussing other than when I tried to get him to take a nap. He seemed sleepy but then fought it off when I tried putting him down. He's still got his cough and he's still a little hoarse at times. Only one nebulizer run today, so that was an improvement. His nose runs like a faucet and he hates getting it wiped, so that tends to get frustrating, especially if he's been sleeping and it's all caked up around his nostrils. Yuck. You'd think the comfort of a clean nose would outweigh the trauma of getting it wiped, but apparently not. Anyway, it was a good day and I even managed to take down most of the Christmas tree in between playing with him and when Lori came over to hang out with her godson. We had a nice afternoon/dinner/evening, and now he's down for the night (I hope). I'm off to finish up the tree and head to bed. Stay warm!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Little Relief

Well, the bronchiolitis still stinks, but Jacob seems to have made a bit of a recovery. He slept from 8:30 last night to about 5:15 this morning, which was SO much better than the previous two nights, which were as bad as (if not worse than) when he was a newborn. When he woke up this morning he was just sort of babbling a bit, maybe a little whine, but it was enough to keep us awake so I got up. He seemed hungry so I fed him for a few minutes and he went back to sleep no problem. It was so close to the time that I would normally get up that I didn't have much of a chance to go back to sleep, but compared to the previous nights of sleep this was much better. I'm definitely hoping he keeps it up this weekend while Craig is on the road, because I'm not sure I could do all the night shift alone. Just feeding him when he was a newborn was one thing, but uncontrollable crying is another. I don't know what switch got flipped overnight, but I am grateful. He was actually pretty miserable in the evening yesterday, with this pathetic, laryngitis-esque whine. But after a nebulizer treatment and a feeding, he calmed down and we decided to put him in bed in his clothes rather than wake him up to change him. He'd been waking up so much lately that we figured we'd get the chance to change him in an hour or two anyway. Well, that didn't happen until 5:30, and that was awesome. He was really smiley this morning and picked right back up when I got him at day care tonight. Whew. The cough and congestion are still there and it makes his whines, giggles and noises sound different. He's still wheezing a bit, too. But the crying fits that we assume were caused by teething seem to have subsided for now. No teeth yet, but I'm starting to think his bottom gums are feeling a little hard, so perhaps the teeth aren't far away. I keep hoping the worst is over, but I doubt it. A little break will be nice, though...I need to catch up on my sleep!

We had some fun playing tonight, and then I fed him...but he still seemed hungry. Perhaps he's got some catching up to do after days of not eating very well (again, guessing it was teething pain). So...I decided to give solids another try. I put him in his little rocking chair for a change of scenery, and decided to casually give him some homemade applesauce. While I have been wanting to do veggies first, his aversion to solids has been making me think that I may need to give him something hard to resist so he gets used to it again and welcomes solids in general. I have a bunch of apples in my fridge and figured I could use the fine grater on my cheese grater. It worked really well, actually. Feeding it didn't, unfortunately. It wasn't awful but he's still not into it. He wasn't totally miserable like he had been and actually allowed me to give him a couple little bites. I was eating what he wasn't, both because it was pretty good and because I wanted to show him how to eat it (and homemade applesauce seemed much less scary than pureed vegetables to do that with!). He kept making this sour face, which may be because it was a new flavor and perhaps the apples were a bit tart. I think he'll come around, though. Even though he wouldn't eat the apples he still seemed hungry (kept trying to latch on through my sweater, even when he was sitting up on my lap--yep, it was sort of funny) so I decided to try cereal again. I sat him on my lap and gave it a shot, but he just wasn't into it. I still think he's so traumatized from the week straight that we tried cereal and he rejected it. I was trying to be consistent and keep trying it like they suggest (babies sometimes need to try things many, many times before they accept new foods...did you know that?), and I think all it got me was a baby who won't open his mouth for anything, including medicine or vitamins now. Ugh. I'm not sure what my next step is. More waiting, and maybe a different fruit like bananas, since my fellow mommy friend Laurie seemed to have success with that. Ultimately I'd like to mix it into the cereal to get him used to that. I know solids aren't vital, but I don't want to keep giving in either because at seven months (Tuesday!) he should be ready. Guess I'll ask the doctor at his two-week follow up for the bronchiolitis.

Well, time to run off and start taking down the Christmas tree before heading off to bed. It's all been a little delayed thanks to a busy schedule and Jacob's rough week, but hopefully this weekend we'll get a big chunk of the living room back...or at least pass it over to the jumperoo! Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Sick

Today I stayed home with Jacob. We had a LONG night and a rough morning, so I couldn't in good conscience send him to day care. He woke up about every hour and a half overnight, crying uncontrollably. While the coughing and wheezing are definitely a problem, I'm convinced he's waking up with teething pain and then the coughing and congestion keep him up even when the teething pain has subsided a bit...God bless the makers of Infant Tylenol. What makes the crying episodes so difficult is that nothing seems to work. No amount of back rubbing, shushing, talking or cuddling seems to help. It's almost like he's just got to get through the bout of pain, and then he slowly relaxes again, with the help of all of the aforementioned methods. It's made any sort of sleeping (night time or naps) tough these days...definitely not something we're used to after months of relatively decent sleep. We've been taking turns getting up with him, but we're both still pretty tired after all of that. I got a short nap in earlier which seemed to help, but still...we're on a nasty path back to sleep deprivation. This morning was extra rough because Jacob wouldn't eat. He only ate for five minutes at 6:30, and that was it. I just decided that he seemed out of sorts enough that I didn't want to have to pass him off to someone else, and figured I was overdue to stay home with him anyway...probably should have done it one of the last couple days.

He slept on me for a good portion of the morning and ate by 9 or so. Fortunately, his mood seemed to improve. Still a couple rough patches, but considering what things have been like lately, that seemed good. His cough is still pretty ugly and when you hear him wheezing it's painful, but he seemed to do less of that over the course of the day so I'm hoping we've turned a corner. Craig is still looking into seeing an asthma specialist to see if Jacob is displaying any signs of that. Two bouts of bronchiolitis and five months of coughing and congestion definitely have us concerned. We'll see where that goes. I guess he told them what Jacob was getting medication-wise right now and they said that sounded right, so that put his mind at ease a bit in the short term. I just long for the day when Jacob doesn't cough anymore and can breathe freely. Anyway, it ended up being a relatively decent day home with him. I got a little time to do my stuff while he napped this afternoon, and we had some good quality smile time for a good portion of the afternoon. Tonight may be another story, but even still, I think I'll feel better about sending him back to day care tomorrow.

I'm really just dying to have teething out of the way, but I know it's a long road. Maybe some of it won't be this bad. I don't know how much of this we can take, but I guess we don't have a choice. Poor Jacob.

On a happier note, he did have a good period last night and below is a little video (finally) of him in his Jumperoo!
video

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Weekend...

...and I don't mean the happy kind that start or end with a day off of work. Friday night puking aside, it was still a tough weekend. Jacob was cranky and I was on my own for a good chunk of it since Craig was working for pretty much the whole thing. I do not miss three-in-three weekends. Anyway, Jacob just wasn't his usual self. He was whiny and irritable, took a couple really long naps and still woke up cranky, didn't sleep too soundly at night, was coughing worse than ever, and just wasn't flashing that amazing smile nearly as often as usual. I think teething was really giving him a lot of discomfort. He was chewing on his hands a lot. Giving him Tylenol seemed to help a bit at times, but he still seemed uncomfortable and unhappy. It was hard to watch and equally hard to deal with at times. Nothing seemed to make him content. There was this moaning sound he kept making, like a broken record...pretty much right up until the moment he'd fall asleep. I knew he was uncomfortable but there was just nothing else I could do for him. I held him a lot, let him sleep on me, and just tried to distract him as much as I could. And it probably didn't help matters that we had a couple more disasterous attempts at solid foods. He starts protesting almost the moment I put him in the high chair, and won't even open his mouth when I try to feed him. And even if I sneak something in, he won't swallow. I'm sure there's a deeper reason behind all of this, but right now I'm not sure what part of his discomfort might be causing it.

Anyway, he woke up at 1:45am this morning and it took an hour and various attempts to get him back to sleep for good. Craig tried, then I tried...which provided a few minutes of quiet, and then I finally had to rely on the heavy artillery (a quick feeding) to calm him down. I got back in bed just before 3. When I got him up this morning he wasn't too into eating. We got through about 15-20 minutes and he was done. He was coughing like crazy and screamed through his nebulizer treatment. Craig called the doctor and got an appointment for this morning. Turns out that the bronchiolitis is back. Ugh. Right back where we started almost five months ago. We have a couple different medications to try this time. Another nebulizer treatment, and something to give orally. So, it's no wonder the little guy isn't feeling great, and then to add teething on top of that...yikes. Hopefully this does the trick, but pardon me if I'm a bit skeptical after all we've been through. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to hear Jacob minus the congestion and coughing. But wouldn't it be great...

All of this has really gotten me thinking (yet again) about how parents of truly sick kids do it. I can't imagine if this was something more serious (i.e., terminal or life-long), like cancer or cystic fibrosis or any other number of horrible disorders and diseases out there. When I give Jacob his nebulizer, I think about the parents of CF sufferers out there that have to clear the mucus out of their children's lungs with an apparatus that literally beats it out of them. We hear about it every year at a dinner the Amerks put on, and it never hit home more than last year when I was pregnant. I guess if it happens you just deal with it, but it's so heartbreaking to think about. Whenever I get down about Jacob's illness, I just try to tell myself that it's temporary, he'll probably be ok in the long run (though the chances are good he'll have allergies and maybe even asthma), and this is nothing compared to what some people deal with. It's still not fun to watch him go through it, but he will be fine.

Tonight he alternated between really happy and really miserable. He was happy when I picked him up at daycare, fell asleep by the time we got home from the grocery store, woke back up to eat a little bit, got cranky again and didn't really want to play (though he did crack a few smiles when his dog was singing to him). He was wheezing like crazy at that point so I gave him the nebulizer with the new meds. He screamed through that and seemed extra miserable, so I gave him some Tylenol, then he ate a little more and was really happy after that. He smiled through his bath and getting his jammies on, enjoyed two books, then smiled at me from his crib. He's been crying or making noise ever since I walked out of the room, but he should tire himself out eventually. I'll stop in again in a few minutes. It's a little earlier than his normal bedtime, but a little extra rest can't hurt at this point and it just seemed like a good time to put him down.

Anyway, I hope the meds work their magic and we've got a happier baby in a day or two. It was nice to see flashes of that again tonight, for the first time in a while. Off to check on him...good night :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Food

I'm not quite sure what to make of Jacob and solid food. He seemed to do ok early on. He seemed to like the cereal and was pretty good about opening his mouth once in a while and eating it. But in the past few days it's been tough. He cries in the high chair, won't open his mouth, and won't look at me when I'm trying to feed him. I tried green beans last night and while he cried through that portion of the feeding, he did stop momentarily every time I managed to sneak a spoonful in, almost like, "Hmmm...this isn't bad. Now back to what I was saying...waaaaaah..." I don't know if he decided he doesn't like cereal, or if he doesn't like being in the high chair, or if there's some other disconnect somewhere that's making him not be in the right mood for eating. I'm very perplexed by solid foods in general because I can't for the life of me find a good schedule for introducing them. I have been hoping to find somewhere (internet, doctor, etc.) something that's basically like:

Days 1-3: 1 tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with formula/breastmilk to desired consistency
Days 4-6: 2 tablespoons of cereal and 1 tablespoon of stage one vegetable

You know, basically giving a blow by blow description of what to feed him when, as well as a good timeline during the day of when it should happen. I know all babies are different, but a good base would be a nice start, and we could tweak from there. But so far, no luck. I've just found a lot of generalities, like start with rice cereal, do veggies before fruits, avoid these allergenic foods, and wait at least three days before you try something new in case allergic symptoms develop. Part of my problem is that most sources talk about starting solid foods as early as 4 months, so those same charts are saying that 6 months is a good time to start other things like meats...but obviously if Jacob is just starting the other stuff, he's not ready for meats yet. But since he's already at the six month point where meats can be tolerated, does he have to wait until 8 months to hit meats? Probably not, but I can't find anything that really clearly gives a good timeline. Very frustrating.

Timing the solid food around his other feedings is confusing as well. Breastmilk is still his main source of nutrition, and they say that you don't want to replace that. So, they say you should feed them when they're just a little hungry, like a 1/2 hour to an hour after they last ate. Well...I've tried that with Jacob and he still fusses, perhaps because he's not hungry yet. I also don't want to push off another feeding if he does eat and spoils his dinner, so to speak. So confusing. And they say not to overfeed them, but how are we supposed to practice solid foods if he'll never eat them?

Last night I almost felt like I had to discipline Jacob a bit. Unfortunately, he may still be a little young to really make the connection. See, he starting fussing pretty early on into the cereal, for the second day in a row. I decided to try the green beans. He ate a few bites that I could sneak in between the fussing, and then I gave up and pulled him out of the high chair. Just for kicks, I sat him on my lap to see if he would eat. Sure enough, he opened wide for the the green beans. So maybe he was hungry and was just being cranky about sitting in the high chair (which, ironically, he seemed to like early on). I put him back in the high chair to try again, hoping he had calmed down, but he started back up again. So for the second day in a row I had to toss most of a serving of cereal.

After cleaning up, we could have played for a little while but I didn't want him to connect his crying fit with getting out of the high chair and playing. Hence where my "disciplining" comes in. We went to take his bath instead, and even there I was hesitant to let him play with the rinsing cup like he normally does at the end of the bath. He cried when I put it away. I think I relented a bit right before he got out, but I was trying to send the message that if he doesn't eat he can't play. Harsh for a six month old? I don't know. It's got to start somewhere, I suppose. I made sure to hug him and kiss him a lot to make sure he understood that I still loved him even if he couldn't play with the cup. Message sent? No idea. Even if it was, the throwing up incident probably changed everything anyway. He's better today, by the way. So I guess the Jumperoo theory was probably the right one, barring any further incidents with green beans. We've had a pretty good day...lots of playing and two naps...oh, and one diaper blowout...ugh. Grandma and Grandpa are coming to visit, and we're all going to the lacrosse game tonight. Not sure how that will work with Jacob's bedtime, but once in a while doesn't hurt (for long, anyway). It should be fun!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A New Schedule?

It's been an odd week for Jacob. It's hard to tell for sure, but he may be changing his own schedule on us. It's not necessarily convenient at the moment, but I guess we'll adjust at some point. Twice this week he fell asleep before 8:30, which isn't really like him. Normally he usually takes a nap somewhere between day care pickup (6ish) and 8ish, somewhere among the evening's playing, feeding and bathing activities. Generally he's happily whisked off to bed by 9 or 9:30, depending on the day. Usually he wakes up around 7:15 the next morning. Both times this week that he fell asleep early he hadn't napped since mid-afternoon, but when he finally fell asleep, we still didn't think it would be for good. But by the time he'd been asleep for an hour or so, it was clear that that was the situation...which meant we had to wake him up and put him in a fresh diaper and his PJs. He wasn't a fan of that and let us know it, but I just wasn't comfortable letting him sleep with a wet diaper (because I know a wet bed would be awaiting me in the morning) or in his clothes, though I'm sure clothes aren't a big deal. I just wasn't sure he'd be warm enough, and we're leery of blankets because of the SIDS risk.

[Side note: Just had a traumatic experience with Jacob. Nothing too serious, I hope. Time will tell. More on that later.]

An early bedtime isn't entirely a bad thing. I can get more done in the evenings and Craig and I have more time to hang out together and pretend that we're just a simple young married couple again. That is a good thing when baby world can overtake that feeling so easily. However, there are a couple bad things about it. First, we don't get home until at least 6, and usually one of us is even later than that. Craig has his radio show Mondays, I usually work a little late Tuesday, Craig likes to try to work out on Wednesdays, Thursdays are my workout days, and Friday there's usually a hockey game. Generally one of us gets him by 5:30-6, but that only leaves a couple hours of quality time before bed, and less for the late arriver. On top of that, we now have a busier evening schedule than we used to. Playtime is obviously important, and there's at least one regular feeding in there somewhere (for him and us, usually not at the same time). Now we're working on this solid food thing, so about 20-30 min. is spent doing that, and at least every other night we do a bath. Finally, he's still getting his nebulizer treatment every evening, for about 10 minutes. It just doesn't leave a lot of "chill" time. Of course, if he goes to bed earlier he does wake up earlier...but 6:30am is not quality time on Mommy's end. And even if it was, I'm still generally having to rush around in the morning so there's not a lot of playtime to be had...and he generally goes back to sleep for an hour or so after eating anyway.

He was up until 9 tonight so maybe those two nights were just blips...but it seemed to me that he could have gone to sleep after he ate, if I would have let him. Why didn't I? Well, he needed his nebulizer treatment, and after missing it twice this week, I didn't want to let it go a third time. I guess we'll see how things go next week to see if this is a new trend or not.

So....getting back to my traumatic experience tonight....and caution: Probably not the best thing to be reading if you just ate. Anyway, I put Jacob down around 9pm and then came to the computer to check a couple things and write this blog. Jacob was making his usual fuss in his crib (somewhere between talking and crying--happens for about 15 minutes most nights), and after a few minutes I decided to go in and check on him. As I was rubbing his back and shushing him, all of a sudden he threw up. A lot. I heard the first round and switched the light on in time to see the second round. Definitely some projectiling going on there. Of course it would have to be the first night we tried food with color. Did you know that green beans and cereal come back up yellow? Jacob was obviously stunned--puking is a lot different than spitting up, I have a feeling. I put him on a blanket on the floor while I tried to figure out what to do next. I pulled everything off the crib and then started stripping Jacob down. He seemed much better by then, but while I was remaking the bed he coughed and gagged again so I quickly turned him over so a little more could come up. It was much less that time, and lighter in color. He seemed to be feeling better fairly quickly after that, with a couple smiles and lots of talking. I did call the doctor and got some instructions just in case. Even though I am totally freaking out about the thought of him choking on his own vomit, I put him back to bed fairly quickly. It was late and I figured he was extra exhausted after all of that. He made more noise for a few minutes but fell asleep pretty quickly. I then ran down to the laundry room to start washing everything...I only have so many rounds of sheets and mattress covers! I am listening to the monitor like a hawk right now in case I hear any more gushes, but I'd almost have to think he got rid of it all the first time. I know, that's what everyone says until more comes up. Ugh.

I have a few theories about what happened. Theory #1) Green beans don't agree with him. I guess I'll have to test that theory again tomorrow, just in case. I don't think green beans are too highly allergenic so I doubt that's really the issue, but perhaps it's going to take a couple rounds to make sure it's ok. He seemed to like the taste, though, so I'm hopeful he'll be a good veggie guy. Theory #2) It's the flu. Man, I hope not. But it happens. I guess we'll find out whenever I happen to feed him next, be it in the morning or in the middle of the night if he wakes up hungry, which he might after going to bed with an empty stomach. But really, he didn't seem like he was feeling crappy tonight, so either it hit him all of a sudden, or...Theory #3) He shook himself up. Stupid mom move I know not to make again (I hope)...don't let your baby bounce after eating. After the second unsuccessful solid food night in a row (hopefully more on that in a blog this weekend), I gave him a bath and then gave him a normal feeding. After that I needed to eat (big lunch, late dinner) and he LOVES the jumperoo so I put him in there for a while while I quickly cooked and ate. Of course, he's now really good at bouncing, and stupid me didn't think about the full belly he had. Even still, he seemed fine right up until it actually happened. We even got through a couple books (complete with giggles for the one) before bed.

So, I'm really hoping it was the bouncing that got him all shook up. Definitely a little nervous about the overnight and the next feeding, though. I'm my mother's daughter and definitely not good with puking. It's not chunky or anything yet at this point and could be a lot worse, but it's still not pleasant. And the choking thing scares me to death. I just want my little boy feeling ok. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 5, 2009

General Updates

Just wanted to go over some basic updates on Jacob as we have reached the 6-1/2 month mark...according to my best estimates, anyway. I guess I'll just do a rundown on stuff...stuff we've noticed, stuff he's into, etc., in no particular order...

- Jacob loves his feet. Specifically, his left foot. Whether there's a sock or a shoe or a bare foot, he does all that he can to get it in his mouth. Sometimes the sock is better than the foot if the sock happens to come off...but he's really obsessed with his feet no matter what. I could be in the middle of a diaper change or trying to strap him into his carseat, and he's trying to get that foot in his mouth. He comes by it honestly, I guess, because I was really into my toes too.

- His chest is his most ticklish spot. I've gotten giggles from his feet, thighs and belly, but his chest is where the big laughs come from. Absolutely adorable.

- He never did pick a finger to suck. He does love to chew, though. He'll happily stick his whole hand (or both) in his mouth and chew away. The other day we saw him chewing his tongue. And we already know about his feet. That he seems to be getting his first tooth on the side of his mouth is less of a surprise since that's where his chewing has mostly been focused. It makes a lot more sense now, actually. The tooth hasn't made much progress, by the way. Still just a little white dot. He did seem a little uncomfortable this weekend, though we're not entirely sure if it was really teething or just an extra dose of gas. Poor kid was super gassy and let out a couple yells prior to some rather large farts. No idea what sparked that, though I guess I'll have to watch my diet extra close to make sure it's not me.

- Over the past month or so he's really gotten into music. No dancing yet, but he likes being sung to, particularly songs he recognizes from his toys. Every once in a while, that knowledge is a life-saver when it can calm him down a bit. He's got this dog, made by Fisher-Price--you probably saw it if you were out in toy departments at Christmas--that does different things depending on which mode it's in and which body part you touch. It'll either tell you what the part is, what color it is, or sing a song. It does patty cake, it sings the alphabet, it has songs about body parts, colors, and more. Jacob loves it, and smiles whenever you sing the songs to him. I just wish it was easier to transport. The body parts are really sensitive, so even the slightest touch sends it singing. And sometimes, it doesn't even take a touch. We've heard it singing in the middle of the night a couple times...creepy. I can only imagine what it would do in a travel bag rubbing up against other things! On a related note, he's slowly learning how to use some of his new toys from Christmas (and one 6 month toy we got as a shower gift), and enjoying all of their sounds and lights. He's got a piano, a ball that rolls itself, and a baby laptop that lights up and plays music. We got him a rock-a-stack (the Fisher-Price rings that almost everyone had--he loves the top red ring, which is now a rattle as well) and some stacking cups, and he's getting into those too.

- He still looks pretty bald in pictures, but he's got the cutest peach fuzz head of blond to light brown hair. I love rubbing it!

- He loves his new Jumperoo. It's his big Christmas gift from my parents, and though it took him a while to get used to it, he's now loving it. It's basically an exersaucer that bounces. It's got a seat in the middle, farm-themed activites all around, and the whole thing bounces up and down. At first he didn't quite get it. He'd play with the toys a bit and smile as we'd bounce him, but couldn't quite figure out how to do it himself. Slowly but surely he figured it out. He'd let his feet go out from under him and the seat would bounce down a bit, and you could see the wheels turning a bit. He was a little better at it on Friday, and when I put him in it last night, he was happily bouncing away! So fun to watch...

- He's getting much better at sitting up. You still have to stay close or put pillows around him just in case he loses his balance, but he's really sitting up well these days. He still can't get to that position on his own, but once he's there he's getting strong. He still loves standing up as well, but he's got a little ways to go before he can do that on his own.


- Solid foods are still so-so. We're still just doing one meal of cereal each night. I've been upping the quantity and the thickness and he's been doing ok with it, but it's still a messy prospect because he's still figuring out that he needs to open his mouth and keep his fingers out of it in order to eat. At least he's eating it. I know at some point I can start jar foods, but I'm even more nervous about that because that gets really messy. Stain removal is not one of my favorite things, but I guess I need to get used to it! I'm still trying to figure out the schedule for introducing new foods...I'm guessing I should be getting to veggies at some point soon.

I guess that's all I can think of for now. Jacob is really an awesome little boy and is growing and learning like crazy. He's still very smiley and keeps us smiling as well. It's been amazing watching him learn and change and improve at things, and I know he's going to keep us amazed for years to come!