Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 Months!

Holy moly!  My littlest love is already into the double digits!  How did that happen?

Size: At his appointment at the allergy doctor two weeks ago he was 19 lbs 3 oz and 28".  I'm assuming he is still around that.

Wearing Size three diapers and wearing pretty much all 9 month clothes still.  I put him in 12 month stuff and they mostly fit.  I haven't tried mashing him in any 6-9  month stuff lately.  He still fits in the 3-6 month swim trunks and rash guard so it's all a crapshoot.

Milestones:  Lots of standing.  He's even let go a couple times and stood unassisted for a couple seconds at a time. Nowhere near walking (thank god!),  but I am willing to bet he will walk well before his big brother did at almost 17 months. Another tooth cut through this past week so we are at 7 with another one on the way.

Eating: He's still EBF, which is going well.  He has now started to refuse purees and being spoon fed, but he hasn't started eating more finger foods so I'm a little concerned about that.  After having the allergy test for peanuts tell us he wasn't allergic I gave him some peanut butter on toast and we had this happen:

So I'm thinking the allergy skin test was NOT accurate.  I will be avoiding peanuts/peanut butter for the time being and need to call the allergist back to see about getting retested.  He is a big fan of grilled/baked chicken and chewed up some turkey burger the other night.  As of now eating is hit or miss...

Sleep: He's mostly sleeping 10+ hours at night, but does get up occasionally (like last night).  Some days he naps wonderfully and other days not so much.  This past weekend he did great with two two hour naps each day.  I'll take it!

Personality: He's a funny/crazy little bugger.  He wakes up from naps with a smile on his face and if I am laying on the floor he will crawl full speed ahead towards me yelling and laughing at the same time.  He gets mad if you walk away from him and follows us around like a puppy.  If you tell him "No" when he's getting into something he will look at you and laugh, then go back to doing what he isn't supposed to be doing.  He's just a cute/funny/sweet little guy.

Loves: His brother, bath time, the night light in his room, any paper he can get his mouth on, and the fridge:

Hates: Baby food, laying still for diaper changes or getting dressed, and being locked away from the stairs by the baby gate.

I swear 10 months went by like that. It's gone even faster this time around and I can't wrap my head around the fact that in just two months we'll be celebrating his first birthday.  Slow down little one!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spending Time With My Little Dude

Prior to last August Andrew had my undivided attention.  When I was home with him he had me all to himself. No waiting for me to finish with a baby before I could play with him. No stopping in the middle of playing to take care of someone else. And no putting him somewhere and asking him to be patient while I feed his brother and put him down for a nap.  It was one of my biggest concerns with having another baby - how it would impact my first baby.

At the beginning, when we first came home with Elliot, it was an adjustment.  There was some jealousy and some pouting.  More than a few tears were shed (from both of us) and I struggled with how to make sure both kids were my priority.  I did my best to make sure I got at least some alone time each week with Andrew, to make sure he knew how important he was.

Eventually we settled into a rhythm.  Andrew stopped pouting so much when I had to ask him to wait. He wasn't always happy about it, but he would wait.  Sometimes asking him to wait comes with setbacks, like on Saturday when he pooped his pants while waiting for me to get done putting Elliot down for a nap.  I got upset with him because I had been asking him all day if he needed to go the bathroom (he didn't poop the day before) and he kept saying he didn't.  It pains me to admit that I scolded him for pooping his pants. As soon as I did I felt immense guilt. I mean, he's three, and accidents happen. How could I possibly get mad at him for not waiting for me?

After I got him cleaned up and his clothes changed I sat down and hugged him.  I felt bad for being short with him and wanted to make up for it so I asked him when he wanted to do the next day.  Instantly he said "I want to go to the 'quarium!".

So yesterday we got up and had breakfast. Once he was done I asked what he wanted to do and he again said he wanted to go to the aquarium.  J was trying to talk him in to waiting  til next weekend since he had stuff he wanted to get done at the house.  Instead I suggested that I get Elliot down for a nap and then I would take Andrew by myself - so we could have some one on one time.   I got everything ready, nursed Elliot and put him down for a nap, and we were off.

We'd been to the aquarium plenty of times and he had always had fun, but hadn't shown the interest in everything like he did this time.  Other times he had looked at the fish quickly and ran from thing to thing, not spending much time. This time he was all about looking at everything.  First we watched Liberty, the bald eagle at the beginning of the exhibits:

He was excited until the eagle spread her wings and hopped to another branch - then he was a little freaked out and yelled.  So we headed in to the other exhibits:

He loved looking in every tank - exclaiming over the fish and crabs and lobsters.  I smiled every time he found something else.

We went out to where you can feed the stingrays and bought some shrimp so he could do it.  We tried it one other time but the fish ate all his shrimp that time. This time he did awesome and every piece was eaten by a ray:

We did the touch tank and he got to hold a sea star (even though I had to keep reminding him not to squeeze).  After that we headed to look at the great ocean tank and I got someone to take a picture of us:

We spent some time looking at the sharks and turtles and all the cool fish in the tank:

I sat and smiled at every exclamation of "Look at this one!  Look at that shark!".  He ran over to more tanks and had some stare downs with the fish:

After all the fish we headed over to the Madagascar exhibit so he could check out the lemurs:

We played back in the toddler play area and I could barely drag him out of there:

Every time I asked him if he wanted to go look at more animals or get something to eat he just kept saying "No thanks! I'm fine!  I'm still playing!".  Finally I dragged him away with the promise of snacks because it was time to start heading home.  I knew Elliot had to be getting up from his nap since we'd been there for two hours already.  We headed out with a quick stop at the desk to buy our commemorative photo.  When we went outside he wanted to see the frog statue:

While we headed home he happily chatted about feeding the stingrays and looking at fishes.  I sat in the front seat smiling while I listened to him.  I know I may not always be able to give him the attention he wants right away, but I will always make time for him and will do my damnedest to show him how important he is to me.  I hope I am able to do that for both of my boys because they really are the two biggest pieces of my heart living outside of my body.  I'm a lucky mom and I know it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day at Urgent Care

Yesterday was the fourth Father's Day we got to celebrate in our household.  While the first one back in 2011 will probably always be the most special I think 2014 might end up being one of the most memorable.

It started out just fine (except for Elliot waking up screaming at 4:00 AM in a pukey crib).  We got up around 8:00 and I went and fed Elliot.  I then took him into Andrew's room and I got the gift bag and card for J. I was practicing with him to get him to say "Happy Father's Day, daddy!" and give him the gift.  When he came in from letting the dogs out Andrew gave him his gift:

After that we made breakfast and the boys enjoyed some waffles:

Elliot had to eat his dry since I don't think butter would go over well.  After breakfast J went out back with his dad to start cutting the dead palms out of the trees. Once they finished and cleaned them up I went out back with the boys to play a little in the yard while J and his dad moved to the front yard to start on those trees.  We were in the back blowing bubbles and enjoying the breeze:

All of a sudden my father-in-law came running over to grab a towel and was motioning me over.  I ran to the front yard to see J crouched down with the towel wrapped around his forearm.  I asked what happened and he filled me in.  He had climbed to the second rung from the top on the extension ladder that was leaned against probably the tallest palm tree in our yard. He had the hand saw to cut out some of the dead palms (thankfully he didn't have the chainsaw) when all of a sudden he heard some buzzing and realized that there was a hive hidden under some of the dead palms.  He decided to take the fastest way down the ladder, grabbing the sides of it and sliding down.  Unfortunately it was an extension ladder and the part that doubles up has an edge. That edge caught the inside of his right arm, knocking him off the ladder so he fell the final 10 or so feet.  A neighbor witnessed it and came running over. He asked if J was ok and said "Dude, you were like a cat - landing on your feet!".

He unwrapped the towel so we could have a look at the damage. It was clear that a trip to urgent care was going to be necessary.  He rinsed off in the shower and we wrapped it in guaze before heading out.  I was surprised at the number of people there on a Sunday, but we got called back pretty quickly.  While we waited for the doctor J was sitting there googling bees to try to figure out what kind they were:

Soon the doctor came back and took a look at it.  It wasn't pretty:

10 cm gash that luckily missed any tendons or arteries.  The scratch extends up into his palm, but it didn't gouge it.  His wrist and thumb were pretty swollen so there was the fear of a break, but first up were the stitches:

23 total stitches to close it up.  The doctor (who had a great sense of humor) let it be known that he is no plastic surgeon and this will definitely leave a mark.  After he was all patched up it was off to x-rays to make sure nothing was broken.  We waited for the results which thankfully didn't take long:

After about five minutes we got the thumbs up to go home with prescriptions for pain, inflammation and antibiotics in hand.  He'll have to go back in 12 days to get the stitches out and is supposed to take it as easy as possible (no heavy lifting or flexing those muscles) while it heals.

So yeah, not the relaxing Father's Day that most people would have in mind, but it will definitely go down as being a memorable one...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Swim Class

For a while now we have been meaning to enroll Andrew in some sort of swim class.  I mean, we live five minutes from the beach so these kids really need to learn to swim.  I finally looked up what classes are offered through our local recreation department and found on that worked with my schedule (I swear 90% of everything is geared towards stay at home moms and I hate that we miss out on so much).  I went to sign him up, but the class was already full, so he got put on the wait list.  I was hopeful that they would add him to the class, but instead they decided to schedule an additional class since there were a bunch of kids on the wait list.  Of course I didn't find out that the class had been approved until Tuesday morning - about seven hours before class started.

I was afraid that Andrew would freak out about me springing swim class on him, so I sent a text to Andrea and asked her to talk to him about it during the day to try to get him excited.  I ran home before picking the boys up from the farmers market and grabbed everything we needed.  When I picked them up I asked Andrew if he was excited about swim class and he yelled "Yes!". I took that as a good sign.

We headed to the pool and when we got there I put Elliot in the little umbrella stroller so I wouldn't have to hold him the whole time and would be able to get Andrew dressed.  Andrew, of course, wanted to push him:

We made our way in and I got Andrew into his swim trunks.  We went out the the pool area and were 15 minutes early, so we watched the class that was going on and I kept pointing out the kids and telling him he would be doing what they are doing.  He was still excited and kept saying "I want to get in the pool!".

At 6:00 it was time for his class.  There were only two other little boys there and I was kind of glad it was a small class since he wouldn't have to wait much between turns.  He was a little apprehensive about walking over to the pool,  but I led him over and he sat on the edge:

Andrew was first in line for each rotation and each time he got in I was so incredibly proud of him.  I had been so afraid that he would cry or have an epic meltdown about getting in the water, but he didn't.  He had a big smile on his face every time I looked at him.

I couldn't help but smile every time I looked over to see him patiently waiting for his turn. And every time he got in the water.

At the end of class she had them each jump in the water two times. He wouldn't jump in on his own, but he would if he was holding the instructors hands:

Then she led him over to the ladder and he climbed right out:

He came running over to me shouting "I jumped in the pool!".  I was so happy to see him so excited about it and I kept telling him how great he did and that I was so proud of him.

After class we went back to the locker room to get him in dry clothes so we could head home.  As soon as we got home he started telling J about jumping in the pool and kept saying "I go to swim class!".  Seeing his excitement made me wish I had signed him up sooner, but part of me thinks that doing it earlier might have ended in disaster. I think now he's old enough to do this class on his own and can really enjoy it.  It was definitely worth the $35 for the class (it's only three weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and once he's done with this one we'll see if he's ready to move up to the next level.

So proud of my little swimmer  :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


A few weeks ago I had a bit of a scare when Elliot broke out in hives after eating some yogurt.  I've grown accustomed to his face turning red and blotchy when eating and figure he just has sensitive skin.  The hives worried me a little and I talked to his pediatrician about it at his 9 month well check.  Dr. Graham suspected a possible cow milk protein allergy so he called in a referral to an allergist to have him tested.  We went this afternoon for his test.  He did surprisingly well with the one hour wait to see the doctor (he was much more patient than I was).

Yes, I let my kid crawl around on the floor in the exam room. After waiting that long there was no way he was going to stay in my lap any longer.

The doctor came in and checked him out and we discussed what the concerns were with certain foods.  She told me they would be doing a scratch test and would test cow milk, soy, peanut and casein.  I stripped him down and the nurse came in to administer the test:

There were 6 dots due to the positive and negative control test as well.

I couldn't let him rest his back on anything for 15 minutes while we waited to see if he reacted, so I let him crawl around some more:

After 15 minutes we had this:

The bottom right was the positive control and the top middle was the cow milk one. So it appears that Dr. Graham was on to something and Elliot does in fact have a cow milk allergy. Damn.

Dr. Streck said that a lot of kids do grow out of it and she scheduled us to come back in three months to have him retested. In the meantime we are to avoid raw milk products (milk, yogurt and cheese) and can give him benedryl if he inadvertently gets some (stealing food from his brother).  I really hope that he does grow out of this because I'd hate for him to have to miss out on grilled cheese, pizza, yogurt, ice cream and all the other good dairy treats.

I'm happy we got some answers even if it wasn't what I wanted.  Now I'll just watch my little smoosh nap and be thankful that he was such a trooper throughout the whole ordeal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taking Time and Making Memories

I feel like I am always in a rush.  Every morning is a rush to get ready, to get everyone up and dressed and fed and out the door.  At work I'm rushing to get everything done so I can get out in time to rush through a quick workout at the gym before picking up the boys. Then it's a rush to get dinner ready, to get them fed and in the bath and ready for bed.  Then I have to get everything ready for the next day to start it all over again.

In all my rushing I feel like I am missing out on some things.  That I'm not taking the time to really see life as it's happening, because I'm just trying to get through it and make it to the next day.  If I keep that up then before I know it the boys will be out of the house and off to college and I will have missed out on all the little things that make this crazy life so wonderful.

This past weekend taught me to relax. To be in the moment and stop always worrying about little things that in the grand scheme of life really don't matter.

On Sunday Elliot was down for a nap. Normally I would use that time to get some things done around the house that I can't do while he's underfoot.  I started to clean some stuff up in the kitchen, but then I heard Andrew's little voice say "We go outside!".  He ran to the back door so I followed him out there.  It had started sprinkling, but he didn't care.  We stood on the back deck - me leaning against the wall watching and him running back and forth between the plants, talking to me about the flowers and pointing out every thing he could see.  Sitting out there were some of the big bubble wands that we got him for Easter. I opened them up and we started blowing bubbles.  He would blow some and exclaim "Look what I made, mommy!". Or if I blew some it was "Look what you made, mommy!". We would watch them float away, getting bounced around by the falling rain.  Pretty soon he was soaked since he was standing out in the middle of the deck instead of under the overhang with me. He didn't care one bit and truth be told, I was enjoying watching his excitement so much that I didn't care, either.

After a while I decided that I should probably run to the store while Elliot was still napping. I asked Andrew if he wanted to come to the store with me or stay home with daddy.  I knew the trip would be easier and faster on my own, but I was kind of glad when he said "I want to go to the store with mommy."  We went inside and I dried him off and changed his clothes. I put some sandals on him since it was still raining and didn't want to get his sneakers soaked, then we headed out.  We chatted the whole way to the store and I smiled just listening to the things that he says.  When we got there I thought about getting the umbrella out, but decided it would be more of a pain trying to deal with it than it was worth. It's not like we were going anywhere and it mattered if we got wet.  Instead I grabbed his hand and said "Run run run!". We took off across the parking lot and I will never forget the look of pure joy on his face or the sound of his giggles as we ran through the rain and stomped in puddles.  Thinking about it right now is making me smile.

That afternoon was a good lesson for me.  My house might not always be spotless and things might not get done as quickly as I would like, but that doesn't matter. When I'm old and grey I won't look back and reminisce about my clean house or my punctuality.  I'll think back to time spent with my boys. I'll remember running through the rain with my giggling three year old and I'll smile all over again...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Getting My Stitch Fix On

Since I've been feeling like I am in a bit of a style rut I decided to try to get some help.  I've had some friends who have tried a service called Stitch Fix so I decided to give it a whirl.  You sign up and pay a $20 styling fee (which goes towards your first purchase as long as you buy something) and then fill out your style profile.  Then either once a month or only when you request it they will send you a box with  five items picked out specifically for you.  Then all you have to do is wait for your first box to arrive.  I've been like a kid waiting for Santa Claus to come and was so excited to come home and see this:

I tore open the box to see what goodies they sent to me.  I pulled everything out and started trying it on. I have to say it is so nice to be able to try things on in the comfort of my own home instead of rushing through it in a store dressing room under horrible fluorescent lights with a fussy baby.

First up were the cropped sienna colored pants and a blue knit cardigan:

I love the cardigan - the color, the fit and the softness of the fabric. I think it's something I can wear with several different outfits.  The color of the pants are a little outside my comfort zone, but I like that it will make me branch out more.  They fit great and I like how they look.

Next up was this green top:

I think the picture says it all.  It is too loose and flowy and gives me absolutely no shape.  I said that I am a nursing mom so I assume this was picked out since it would be easy to pull up for feeding Elliot, but I hate the cut. This is going back.

Then there was this shirt:

It's not awful, but for the money it's not a keeper.  Again it's very loose and shapeless and I think it makes me look bigger than I am.  The big boobs make things with this cut hang like a tent on me and I just don't think it's flattering. It's going back.

Last up was this wrap dress:

I don't hate the pattern and I know the cut would make it easy to nurse in, but I just don't think it looks good on me. I think the large chest and wide hips are way too accentuated with this cut.  I would be uncomfortable wearing this and can't justify the expense. This is going back.

All in all my first fix wasn't a resounding success, but it wasn't a total failure, either.  I'm keeping two out of five items (if you keep all five you get a 25% discount off of everything) and sending the rest back with my feedback for the stylist.    My next fix is scheduled for July 3rd so we will see if my feedback helps me to get some more flattering items.  I know the idea of Stitch Fix is for them to pick out things that I might not pick out for myself and get me to branch out more, but if I think I look frumpy in them I'm still not going to wear them.

All in all I think it's a great service and a lot of fun.  It's like having your own personal shopper, and who doesn't love that?

If anyone out there wants to try it out for themselves and join the fun you can go here:
Shameless plug of my referral link ;)

I had a two month wait for my first fix due to the rising popularity of the service, but I think it was worth it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

9 Months In and Out - A Body Update

It's official - Elliot has now been out for even longer than he was in.  He was born at 39w1d (according to one of my due dates) and he's now been out for 40w3d.

This was me the day that my water broke (at 11:28 PM that night):

I was feeling large and in charge by that point.  I gained I think 37 lbs with Elliot's pregnancy, which I wasn't really happy about.  I had a harder time reining in my appetite with him and I wasn't able to get to the gym as often as I did when I was pregnant with Andrew.  On the plus side, Elliot was born towards the end of bathing suit season (as opposed to at the beginning like Andrew) so I had plenty of time to get my body back in shape before it was time to get myself into a swim suit.

Unfortunately having that extra time didn't get me back in stellar shape.  My appetite has been a little ridiculous and I have seriously the worst willpower when it comes to not eating sweets when they are in the house.  That being said, here I am today:

I'm getting there, but I'm not there yet.  I have finally gotten back under 140 lbs so I am within 7 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight.  I feel like the majority of it is hanging out in my butt/thigh area.  I'm hoping that starting to run more will help me see a little progress in those areas.  To get me motivated I have decided that I'm going to run the Charleston Half Marathon in January. I know that is far off, but it will be good as far as training since it won't be miserably hot and humid when I'm in the thick of it.  I might suck it up and do the one in Georgetown in October, but I haven't decided yet.

I've also started logging all of my food using myfitnesspal on my phone to hopefully hold myself accountable for what I eat.  I'm always so hungry (probably due to breastfeeding) but I need to start making better choices.  I started this morning with a run:

followed up with a smoothie made with spinach, berries, milk and plain greek yogurt.  Bathing suit season is here and I'm not ready for it, but I'm hoping I can get myself into a swim suit and out in public without being miserably self conscious.

Now it's time for me to go drink more water and try to resist the sweets that are calling my name. Wish me luck!