Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

From the cutest cow I've ever seen (ok - I might be a little biased!).

He's still not so great with the whole sitting thing. He'd much rather be on his belly.

There was a little Halloween breakfast for the kids and parents at daycare this morning. I had some mini cinnamon rolls while Andrew hung out in the bouncy seat and talked to his girlfriend, baby Laurie, in her pumpkin costume.

Marc was trying to get a smile out of him. I think he was just too distracted by the other kids running around in their costumes.  Plus he had a full belly and was ready for his nap.

I love my little cow - even if he does look like he belongs in a Chik-fil-a ad  :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Must Stay Off eBay

I think I am addicted.  I normally go through phases where I buy a bunch of stuff and then I am not on there for months.  Before it used to be stuff for me - Coach purses, cool boots, fun jewelry, etc.

But now it is all about the munchkin.  Since I have had trouble finding some cute boy stuff in stores (that won't break the bank), I decided to look at my trusty old auction site. 

Bad idea.

I have bought him way too much stuff recently. I think J might kill me if one more package shows up at the door!

In my defense, though, I have gotten some great deals and some really cute stuff. I mean - who could resist these cute clothes?

I've been finding mixed lots of clothes in the 9-12 month size since he needs some cold weather stuff.  This particular one happened to be a bunch of Gymboree stuff. Absolutely adorable and I love the hat.

I know some people will think "Eww - she's buying used clothes for her baby?"  Umm - yeah, I am.  It's no different than getting hand me down clothes from friends (which we have also done).  I wash everything when it arrives and I've saved a buttload of money by not going out and buying all brand new stuff.  I mean - that first sweater alone would have been $30 brand new and I got 11 things for $35 (not all of them are pictured above).  I call that a win in my book.

On that note - one of my auctions is ending - must go see if I am getting more clothes for him. Then I swear I am done buying.  Maybe  ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our little pumpkin

Instead of waiting for this weekend and battling the crowds we decided to take Andrew to the pumpkin patch yesterday afternoon.  We had already bought pumpkins elsewhere, so the only real reason to go was to get some pictures.

This kid cracks me up  :)

I think he looks like a funny little gnome with the pointy hat  :)

He's really not sure what to think of all this

He was most interested in eating the hay

Love my little pumpkin!

My two favorite guys

Ignore how awful I look

He just wanted to eat his foot

Can't wait to dress him up later today for my office's fall festival cookout!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love this fall weather!

Yesterday, to celebrate the munchkin's 7 month birthday we decided to take a nice long walk and visit the new little park that opened up a couple miles from our house.  All I can say is I am LOVING this weather right now.  Mid 70's, low humidity, and a nice breeze - can't beat it.

They built these nice long docks for people to walk on and fish from

Nice little sunset stroll

I love seeing all the shrimp boats lined up

You can see the diamonds of the Ravenel Bridge in the background

Shem Creek

Andrew enjoying the view while daddy takes some pictures

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

7 Months!

Wait. What?!?  Dude - seriously. Stop growing so fast!!

Age: 7 months

Stats:  I'm guessing that he is about 17.5 lbs and 28 inches right now based on what he was at 6 1/2 months.

Size (diapers, clothes, etc.):  Just about done with the size 2 diapers.  The size 3's still seem a little big on him, though. I think his thighs aren't chunky enough to fill the leg holes properly.  As far as clothes he is still in some 6 month stuff and I even fit him in a supposed 3 month onesie last week (the sizing on this crap is so bizarre). I have him in a lot of 9 month pants for his long legs. He's in the 6-9 month sleepers since he is long.

Sleeping:  His sleep has gone all to hell lately. This past weekend he was up every 3 hours at night. Not sure if it was because of the unfamiliar surroundings or if he's hitting yet another growth spurt or what.  I long for the nights of 9+ hours (although we did get 8 hours and 40 mins out of him last night).  He naps wonderfully at daycare but it's hit or miss at home. We are going this weekend to buy curtains to try to make it a little darker in his room to see if we can replicate the success they have during the week.

Eating: We had to start supplementing him with formula this week (sniffle sniffle). I believe that with my body being ravaged by the flu this past week my supply tanked and it hasn't rebounded yet.  He HATES straight formula, but if we mix it with breastmilk he will take it. I sent four 5 oz bottles with him today with an 8 oz bottle of formula and instructed them to add 2 oz of formula to each bottle when they feed him.  In the meantime I am downing water, tea, and fenugreek like there's no tomorrow and praying that it works soon.  As for food, we tried avocado again and had more success this time. He actually got a few pieces in his mouth, but after moving it around in his mouth for a little bit he then gagged and threw up. This happened with banana, too. I think he still needs to learn what to do with chunks of food in his mouth - he doesn't know how to swallow them yet.  I feed him a jar of food each evening - he loves sweet potatoes, squash and green beans, tolerates peas, carrots and pears and he HATES banana puree.  I bought some butternut squash to cook for him, but haven't done it yet.

Milestones:  He has his first tooth. An exciting milestone, but it makes me sad. Not only because it makes him seem even more grown, but also because now when he bites down while eating it's no longer just uncomfortable - it's downright painful.  Still working on breaking him of that habit. Luckily he hasn't drawn blood (yet).  He's still not sitting much on his own, but he scoots and scooches all over the place. He has also started with the da da da, ba ba ba, and ga ga ga sounds.  He passes things from hand to hand with no problem and seems to be learning cause and effect - if he drops something he seems to know I will pick it up. Just this morning he kept looking at me, dropping Sophie, and smiling.

New adventures:  We did our first race two weeks ago and I pushed him through the whole 5K Race for the Cure in the jogging stroller.  We also did family pictures and took a trip up to Charlotte. We considered taking him to the Panthers game this past weekend, but decided it might be too hard and left him with J's parents (my MIL wanted the extra cuddle time anyway!).

Favorite toys and activities:  He still loves the jumperoo and I bought him a Sophie and he seems to thoroughly enjoy chewing on her face.  We also discovered that in a pinch a package of Tic-Tacs makes an excellent toy (as long as he doesn't get it open!) and he loves playing with his spoon.  One of his new favorite activities is standing on our lap and bouncing - kind of like he's in the jumperoo.

Funny happenings:  Two weeks ago J was playing 'Super Baby' with him (where we hold him up over our heads and he stretches out his whole body like he is Superman flying).  J looked up at him and was laughing when Andrew proceeded to look right at him and spit up. All over J's face. And in his open mouth.  I was laughing hysterically while J yelled for me to get a towel.  Too bad I couldn't get a picture of it  :)

What I'm looking forward to:  Taking him to a pumpkin patch this weekend, bringing him to my company's fall festival lunch this Friday in his Halloween costume, and dressing him up for Halloween for daycare on Monday for their Halloween breakfast.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rough Weekend

This weekend was - in a word - rough.

We drove up to Charlotte to see J's parents and let them spend some time with the munchkin (and to go to the Panthers game).  I thought he would sleep most of the ride up since it was during his normal nap time at daycare.


That night he was sleeping in the pack-n-play in our room.  I use the term sleeping loosely.  He was up every 3 hours (midnight, 3:30 and 6:40).  And making lots of noise at all other times.  By the time we got up in the morning J and I were both exhausted and I was in tears because my supply had clearly tanked.  Damn flu.

I sent J out to get me some Mother's Milk Tea and to pick up some formula.  I burst into tears at the thought of him having to get formula because I felt like a failure.  But the most important thing is that Andrew is getting enough to eat - no matter where it comes from.

J got back with the formula and we mixed some up. Andrew refused to eat it. He made his gaggy face, started crying, and turned away from the bottle.  I guess after almost 7 months of nothing but my milk he didn't want anything else.  A little part of me was relieved because it meant that he still would prefer me, but I was also panicking because I didn't think I had enough for him and he needed to eat.  We were able to mix it with some breastmilk and eventually get him to eat it.

J's mom was able to finally get him to nap, too.  Of course he hadn't been sleeping all that long when J's crazy bitch aunt and his grandma showed up.  My mother-in-law took him into another room where it was quiet so he could continue to nap, but Roberta (the crazy bitch aunt) was impatient and after a little while went in demanding "Is he going to sleep the whole time?".  When I heard about this I wanted to punch her in the face.  WTF is wrong with her?? You don't wake a napping baby. Especially one that didn't sleep well the night before. And especially when it's NOT your baby.  This woman has zero common sense and I truly just can't stand her (This goes back to her ruining our wedding for J's mom - I resent her for that and really can't stand to be around her).

After dealing with them for several hours they finally left at 5:30.  Andrew got an early bath and I fed him and had him in bed at 8:00.  He had been moved into another room and J's mom said she would get up with him at night and only get me up if he needed fed.  I stayed up for a little while and we were looking at pictures of J when he was a baby and comparing him to the munchkin.  Some of the similarities were eerie  :)

A little after 11:00 Andrew was back up.  I heard him and went and fed him and had him back sleeping in the pack-n-play by midnight.  Once he was down I went back to bed, crossing my fingers that he would make it through the night.

At 7:00 when I got up to go the bathroom I checked on him and he was wiggling a bit, but not crying. I let him be and we heard him around 8:00. It turns out that he had been up at 4:30, but my mother-in-law had taken care of him because she wanted me to get some rest. I am eternally grateful for that because I felt much better. I was even able to pump 6 ounces for him so there was almost 12 ounces of milk for him for while we were at the game.  We figured he could have 5 oz of mik mixed with 2 oz of formula and that would give him the 7 oz bottles that he's used to.

J and I headed out to the tailgate that we were supposed to go to. A guy he used to work with invited us to this game because he has season tickets. He had wanted us to go last year, but J had his shoulder surgery and was out of commission.  I was worried about getting engorged and being uncomfortable so I took my pump with me in the car. I pumped quickly right before the game and got 5 oz.

The weather was beautiful and we had great seats:

Player introductions

Touchdown Panthers!

After a successful game with a win for the home team we hightailed it out of there to get back to the house and pack up. I pumped while J drove and got another 6 oz (yay!)

When we got to the house the little munchkin was in great spirits and I was so happy to see him. Even though we'd only been gone 6 hours it felt like so much more.  We got on the road and I had to feed him a bottle in the car, but then he passed out before we got to Columbia and slept the rest of the way to Charleston.

Unfortunately we didn't get home til 8:45 and he had just slept an hour and forty five minutes.  After his quick bath he wasn't ready to sleep yet, so J played with him while I took a quick shower to get the funk of the day off of me.  Finally at 9:55 he settled down to eat and was in bed at 10:30 (two hours past when he's normally down).

I was half tempted not to pump since I figured he would be up in 3 hours to eat (like he had done the past two nights), but I did anyway. I'm glad I did since I got 4 oz (to go towards tomorrow's bottles) and he didn't get up until 6:15 this morning.

So now it's Monday and I'm back at work after being out most of last week.  I'm drinking my tea like crazy and guzzling water in a desperate attempt to get my supply back to where it needs to be. I need to pump 17 more oz today to get his four bottles for tomorrow. I'm praying that he is getting back into his routine at daycare and that he eats enough during the day today that he won't be up tonight.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

On the mend

Thank you, Tamiflu!

I got a prescription for it when I started getting sick.  There are some conflicting reports on whether it should be taken while breastfeeding, but after doing some research and talking to the pharmacist (who is a nursing mom of 5 month old twins who said if she had the flu she would take it) I decided to take it.  Now after two days of feeling like death I am starting to feel like myself again. No more feeling like I just got beaten with a baseball bat and my temperature is finally back down under 100.

I'm still tired and need to sit down a lot, but the lightheadedness is gone.  I'm drinking water like it's my job and eating more to try to get my supply back up.  At least my appetite is coming back.

And it's really bad timing, but we are headed to Charlotte this weekend to see J's parents and to go to the Panthers game on Sunday with a guy he used to work with.  So it won't be the restful weekend that I could use, but I can nap in the car on the drive up and at least there will be others to help take care of Andrew all weekend so I can relax some.

To close with some pictures, here is Andrew's pumpkin that Marc carved for him at daycare yesterday:

Andrew's peach face:

And his pear face. This kid just really isn't sure about fruit!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The flu sucks

And I have it.

It hit me like a freight train Tuesday evening. I didn't sleep at all that night because my head and body hurt so much.

As bad as I feel, I am even more scared that Andrew will get this. He's gotten the first dose of his flu shot and I am praying that and the antibodies he's getting from my breastmilk will protect him.

I feel slightly better today, but am so weak because I have zero appetite.  I know I need to eat but it's hard to choke anything down. I need the calories or I won't be able to produce milk for him.

On that note, I think I'm going to take a nap and hope my temperature is under 100 when I wake up...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Prayers for Ellison

I'd mentioned baby Ellison a few times previously  - most recently here.  She is my mom's friend's daughter who was diagnosed with Leukemia at 8 weeks old.  I want to cry every time I think of what she has had to go through so far.

Well, today is the big day.  This is the email that she sent to friends and family yesterday letting everyone know what's going on:

We are on Day 8 of a very rigorous regimen of chemo. For the first 4 days she received a drug called Busulfan 4 times a day (2 hour infusion each time). They had to give her Dilantin (anti seizure medication) during these 4 days to prevent seizures which can be caused from Busulfan. She was very restless from the Dilantin and acted like she had drank 500 cups of coffee. On day 5 we were supposed to start another drug called Cytoxin which she was going to get 4 doses of. Just before starting the medication her lab worked showed an elevated CK level which indicated that some muscle (not specific which muscle) was irritated. The doctors wanted to do some further lab work to make sure the irritated muscle was not her heart due to the fact that Cytoxin can have extremely adverse effects on the heart (can cause cardiac arrest which is irreversible and fatal). The further lab work came back showing elevated cardiac enzymes ( 1 enzyme was 3 times the normal and another was 9 times the normal). The doctors said that her heart function was beautiful and there has been no damage to the heart and were unsure why the enzymes were elevated (one of the meds we received in rounds 1, 2 and 3 of chemo, Donarubicin, can have adverse effects and delayed effects on the heart so may be the cause). Since the doctors don't want to chance a cardiac arrest event, they recommended we go with another drug called Fludarabine. This drug is supposed to have the same effect but without any side effects on the heart. Had we chosen to continue with the Cytoxin, we would have had to undergo daily EKG's and be on tons of fluids and other meds to protect the bladder from bleeding. I am relieved to have avoided this medicine!

So far Ellison has tolerated this 4th round of chemo well. She continues to smile and coo all day. She is sitting up all by herself now and has not regressed whatsoever developmentally. We know that God has her in the palm of His hand and she is such a miracle! She is a far easier baby than Jax or Carson ever were which is just another way God has blessed us!

We will receive our last dose of chemo tonight at 9- so relieved! She just started an immuno suppressant drug called Cyclosporin so she can get ready for Carson's cells on Wednesday night. We will continue on this medication even after we leave the hospital and they will wean her slowly once they make sure Carson's cells are engrafting.

The plan for Wednesday: Carson's harvest will begin at noon and will last approx 2 hours. They will then take Carson's cells to the lab and spin out his red blood cells (Carson and Ellison have different blood types). The doctors think that the cells will be ready for Ellison sometime early evening. All of the doctors will come in and throw Ellison a birthday party (sing Happy Birthday) when the cells begin to infuse! :) It's crazy to think Ellison will then take on Carson's blood type! We will monitor her labs closely to see how long it takes for her to transition to Carson's blood type. We will be in the hospital for approx 40 days starting Wednesday followed by an additional 100 stay in the Charleston area (will have doctors visits several times a week to check levels and to get any transfusions we may need).

I miss you all so much. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.



So this evening Ellison will be receiving the bone marrow that she needs to save her life.  If you could send some positive thoughts this family's way it would be greatly appreciated.  This little beauty deserves her second chance at life:

And on an unrelated note I think I have the freaking flu. Shoot me now...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another too fast weekend

Yet another weekend that went by way too fast.  How is it that those two days always seem to go by in about two seconds?

Friday night we didn't do much. Thought about going and trying out the new PF Changs that just opened, but opted not to since it JUST opened.  We had a feeling it would be super packed, which would translate to a long wait, which does not go well with a 6 1/2 month old that needs to be entertained.

Instead we stayed home, had some pizza, and tried some avocado with the little man:

He did great with it this time and actually got a few pieces into his mouth. It was all good til the gag reflex kicked in and he proceeded to throw up. Luckily he had on one of those plastic bibs with the pocket at the bottom and it caught most of it.

Saturday morning we got up and did the Race for the Cure on Daniel Island.  This was my first race post baby so I wasn't sure how it would go. Plus I was pushing the munchkin in the jogging stroller.  Obviously I was several minutes off of my best time, but this race is always really crowded and trying to maneuver the stroller on top of that made for not the most impressive finish. I did pass a whole heck of a lot of people and even got a little shout out at the finish line for being the second stroller to cross (I even got a "Go mommy!!" yell).  Oh, and I only hit one guy with the stroller  :)

After the race I went and met some friends with the munchkin for lunch at Taco Mamacita. All I can say is YUMMY!  And he did great while we were there. Once we got home he took a nice two hour nap while I watched my football game.

Once he got up we went and met some friends at Red's to hang out and grab some drinks. Yeah, I know what you're saying. "They took their baby to a bar??"  We were sitting outside on the deck enjoying the view of Shem Creek and as soon as he got fussy I left and took him home for bathtime.  Of course I forgot his Sophie on the table and our friend, Jay, proceeded to use it to try to pick up chicks.  (Sophie has since been sterilized).

Saturday night he slept over 11 hours (yay!!) and we had a nice day just hanging out yesterday. We did a little photo shoot prior to my football game:

Then he spent some time shredding some newspapers in the living room and hanging out with daddy:

So, it was a somewhat busy, somewhat lazy weekend and I enjoyed every second of it.  And Andrew was all smiles on the way to daycare this morning - I guess he enjoyed his time with mommy and daddy, too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Future parent teacher conferences

That is what I am envisioning happening with us.  Andrew loves to "talk" and something tells me he's not going to be the quiet kid in school.

You'll have to forgive the crappy quality of the video - it was dim in his room and I didn't want to turn on the overhead light and distract him

I love listening to his babbling, though, and pretty much crack up anytime I am watching him.  He is learning so many new sounds and it is so sweet to hear.

Love my noisy little munchkin!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goodbye gummy smile...

Yep - you guessed it.  The munchkin appears to be trying to sprout his first tooth.

I should have known based on the way he's been going to town gnawing on the rubber handle of his new spoon.  He sits there and chews on it while J and I are eating dinner and it cracks me up to hear his gums squeaking on the rubber.

Every night I have been shoving a finger in his mouth and running it over his smooth gums to see if I can feel anything. I've been relieved so far to never feel anything other than his spongy little gums.  That all changed last night.

While he was in the tub - splashing and squealing - I took the opportunity to do my nightly check (since he willingly had his mouth open).  To my dismay I felt something different. A sharp little edge was poking through.  I tried to get a look at it, but once a finger is in his mouth he is content to gnaw on it and doesn't cooperate with anyone getting a look at what's going on in there.

I finally got a peek at it and could just barely see it.  It's just the very edge, but it's definitely there and it's definitely coming.

I don't know why that makes me sad. I guess because now he will no longer look like my little baby.  He'll look older with teeth. I know it just means that he is growing (which is a good thing), but he's doing it too fast for me!

I need to get as many pictures of his gummy little smile as I can since it will soon be a thing of the past.

Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that when this tooth is in he doesn't use it to start gnawing on me when he's nursing.  My poor nips aren't ready for that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thank you, Christopher Columbus

For your incompetence in discovering a new route to the West Indies.  Thanks to you I have the day off of work today  :)

I actually still took Andrew into daycare this morning so I can get a bunch of stuff done around the house without also entertaining him. I'll be picking him up around 2:00, though, so I can get some extra baby time in today.

I know what you're thinking - "She took her kid to daycare so she could sit on the computer uninterrupted??".  No. I am only on the computer right now because I am hooked up to my pump like a dairy  cow and I can't do the cleaning that I still need to do until I am done.

So far this morning I have already been to the gym for a quick workout, gone to the grocery store, picked our garden (with a ridiculous amount of bell peppers), thrown in a load of the munchkin's laundry, gathered up mine and J's laundry, taken out the bathroom trash, and figured out what we're having for dinner.  Once I'm done being milked I am going to dust and vacuum the entire house (which is very badly needed!) and clean the bathrooms.

Seriously - who is going to eat all of these peppers???

Once 2:00 hits (or whenever Andrea calls me to tell me he is up from his afternoon nap) I am going to go pick up the munchkin and have me some more baby time.

We had an absolutely fabulous weekend compared to last weekend and it is starting to restore my faith in myself as a mom.  We got two 90 minute naps out of him each day, he slept straight through the night every night, and he was such a happy baby.  Plus there were no bleeding boobs and plenty of milk to go around.

He did scare the bejeezus out of me on Saturday evening, though. I was attempting to feed him some banana puree (with very minimal success) when all of a sudden his face turned really red, his eyes were watering, and he started spitting up and choking.    I swear my heart almost stopped as I grabbed him out of the high chair and started burping him to try to clear his throat.  Two seconds later he was all smiles and babbling at me, but I was shaking I was so scared.  I don't know if that was his way of telling me that he doesn't like bananas (he kept making his gaggy face while I was trying to feed him) or if he just sucked some down the wrong pipe.  Either way, it led to an evening of lots of baby hugs and cuddles.

Before choking on the bananas. He's not a fan.

We did succeed in getting him to sit a little bit. Ok - it was only for 5 - 10 seconds at a time, but it's a start:

He spent some time hanging out with daddy in the living room:

And as always he enjoyed his tub time. This kid LOVES the bath!

All in all it was a great weekend and it made me love my little family even more (if that's even possible!).