Monday, November 28, 2011

12 Month Update (Yep, he's 13.5 months, and I am late!)

Well I am horrifically, completely late on this last post. October was such a busy month with birthdays and Halloween, and Aaron is just so mobile these days! We spend a lot of time chasing after him, and there is less time to do things for ourselves. Writing has definitely fallen by the wayside.

Here’s weights and measures for 12 months:

  • Height: 30.75 inches

  • Weight: 20 pounds, 14.2 ounces

  • Head: 18.5 inches

What a busy month! Here’s what’s new:

Aaron has decided that he doesn’t want a pacifier any more. He did this all on his own, much to my horror. The pacifier gives me a needed respite from breastfeeding when he just needs a little comfort, and it was one of our primary tools we use to help him self-soothe when he goes to sleep. It has been an adjustment figuring out how we operate without it. Daycare was really the reason behind it. They don’t let babies have them unless they are sleeping (how would you keep track of which kid gets which paci? Gross!!) I was wondering how we would work that out when the time came, but leave it to Aaron to let us know when the time is right to grow past certain things!

We have officially made the switch to a new pediatrician. I know I have talked about this in previous posts, but at this point, we have now been several times to the new guy, and it is working out beautifully. I am so glad we switched. When he needs to see the doctor, it is so much easier to get to this office, and they are huge and can always get us in. And, he has started to have more flu bugs now that he is in the bigger daycare, and it is fall, etc. They have been fantastic, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.

Aaron started music class this fall. He LOVES it. He is quite a musical kid. He dances whenever music is on, and loves to explore things that organically make noise (as opposed to things that require batteries). The maracas are his favorites, and he is quite good at doing it in time to the music. Our first class, he had a perma-grin on his face watching all the adults act like idiots (we sing and do all the dance moves for the kids in a big circle. It was a bit of an adjustment for me to be honest!) This first variety of music classes we have done has been good, but I am not so fond of the management of the class, so I think we will perhaps try a different group next session, likely after the holidays. It is really fun to see how much he has learned from it, and new ways that I have learned to connect and play with him. I definitely think it is something we will try to keep doing!

Aaron is now beginning to say first words! His first word is (drum roll please…) “THAT!” He will point to things and say “THAT!” as in “What’s that?” He loves to point to different things while you hold him, and then go and explore whatever it is that he sees. Frequently, the fun of having you follow his direction is what he likes best, so as soon as you go over to what he sees, he will find something else to point to and say “THAT!” to keep you going. He also says:

  • No (in a deep voice repeatedly, like “no, no, no”)

  • Doggie – anything that has four legs and fur is a doggie

  • Cookie, as in Cookie Monster

  • Hi and Bye (with a wave attached of course!)

  • Dada and Daddy

  • Mamama (occasionally, but not often)

  • Baby (though it sounds more like bee bee. He points to Noah’s picture and says this. Makes me cry! I love it!!)

  • Go! (One of his favorite books is “Go Dogs Go” by P.D. Eastman. Chris reads it to him, and Aaron will yell out “Go!” The other day he picked up the book on his own and said “Go dogs go!” enthusiastically! It was too cute!!)

Our feeding clinic appointments have continued. Aaron is making such great progress. Our therapist thinks that she may turn us loose to try life on our own after the first of the year. He is right on par with a picky toddler at this point. This means that he eats snack foods pretty well, like cheerios, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, baby puffs, etc. This is a HUGE improvement over where we were when we started. When we started out, being in a high chair was a traumatic experience for him, and he refused to really eat anything. Now he sits in the highchair and plays with foods, and puts everything in his mouth. He swallows some of it. I am so grateful to the feeding clinic. They have really unique methods that really do work. I can see the progress happening, and I feel confident that this is going to get better and better as he gets older.

The big news in October was Aaron’s first birthday!!! I am amazed how fast this first year went. I spent some time re-reading my posts after he was born, and wow, have we come so far since those first days in the NICU! It has been a lot of hard work, but such a tremendous joy having Aaron here. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. I feel a unique sense of appreciation for Aaron, given what life was like before he got here. On his worst day, life is still light years better than what it was before he was born, after having lost his brother. I will choose this every time. I am just so glad he is here, making life move forward in a really fun and joyful way.

Ok, enough of the mushy stuff, and on to how we celebrated him! Chris’s parents came out to visit, and we spent the day of his birthday doing things that he likes best. We took a long walk to the park, and looked at all the animals. (We live down the street from a ranch made up to look like Colorado back when the settlers first arrived.) His favorites are the chickens and the pigs (he is EXCELLENT at making the pig noise. These pigs are funny because they are quite vocal and will have “conversations” with you when you snort to them. Aaron thinks it is hilarious and joins in). We had lunch out at a local restaurant. Aaron is really fun to take out to restaurants. We bring his foods, and like likes sitting in the highchair, swinging his legs, playing with his food, and watching everything in his surroundings. We also went to the other park we live by that has playground equipment, and pushed him in the swings and such. We gave him our birthday present – a large toy house he can climb on. He LOVED it and had fun exploring it!

The next day was his birthday party! We did a Sesame Street themed party since that is Aaron’s favorite. We had decorations all over the house, and he loved seeing the characters all over the place. I got Sesame Street music from the library that played in the background as well. Aaron was a little overwhelmed at first as people started to arrive. He has a hard time in chaotic environments, but I was able to get him to settle and adjust after a bit. We kept it pretty simple. We got pizza from Boriello Brothers, and had a big sheet cake with Sesame Street on it. He had a little cake to smash as well. He was quite dainty with it! I think the idea of really smooshing into it was a bit gross and overwhelming to him, but I did put some frosting on his lips, and he liked it a lot (who wouldn’t!) and took a few more bites on his own. He got a lot of really great gifts too (thanks friends and family!!) like a toy parking garage and cars, musical instruments like he plays with in his class, books, blocks, stuffed Sesame Street characters, and the all time favorite came from his Uncle Mark – a cart that he can push as he walks!

Because crawling works so well for him, he hasn’t really cared too much about walking. He pulls up to standing beautifully, and will walk along furniture, but convincing him to take some steps away from the furniture on his own has been hard. Well, as soon as we got the cart out of the box and assembled, it was like a switch was flicked in his brain, and he took off with this thing and hasn’t stopped since! I had seen these things on Amazon and saw that they were highly rated, but I didn’t get it. Wow, is it cool!! In the month or so following his birthday, he has really gotten to be good with this thing and really has a blast with it, and now he takes several steps on his own! It has been amazing to watch! Crawling or running (yes, running) with his cart are still the fastest way for him to get around, so they are his favorite, but he can now walk on his own too!

We have also had Halloween since I last posted! It was so much fun to have a kiddo who is a little more aware this year. He dressed as a puppy. I found the costume at Carters, and it was perfect because it was very warm and made of fleece. For those who live elsewhere, it always is crazy cold if not snowing on Halloween in Colorado, so finding warm costumes is pretty important! This year ended up not being so bad, though it was still pretty chilly by the end of the night, so I was glad to have found this one. Both Chris’s and my offices do up Halloween big. I dressed as Miss Piggy, and Chris was Cookie Monster (which was so much fun – the kids at these parties LOVED it!). It was so much fun to have Aaron there. He trick or treated in my office, and bounced with Chris in the bounce house at Chris’s office. We took his walking cart both places and he walked all amongst the other kids which was fun for him. He participated in the Halloween parade at his school (where he pushed their cart toy, with one of his classmates in the cart which was too cute!). For Halloween night, we went to my brother’s house so he could trick-or-treat with his cousins. He hit a few houses, and then happily rode in his stroller watching his cousins and all the other kids run up and down the street. It was such a great holiday.

Trick Or Treating:

We had another round of pictures done of Aaron for his first birthday. Look how big he has gotten!!! Can’t believe it. So proud of him, and loving him more and more each day. Before I cap this off, I want to say that I will post when I can, though it is getting harder to do it every month (as you can see since this post is more than a month late! Sigh…) Being the mother of a toddler is a busy thing! Perhaps year 2 will be every other month? We shall see. Thanks for keeping up with us! Now here’s a bunch of pictures and video of my big boy!

Here is Aaron Walking!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

11 Months Old

Guess who is so over having his picture taken with the month stickers? This guy!!!

Height: 30.25 inches
Weight: 20 pounds, 0 ounces
Head: 18.5 inches

We had a heck of a time getting these pictures taken! Why? Because Aaron has a hard time sitting still these days! He is an expert crawler, and he stands and walks along pieces of furniture holding on with one hand with ease. It feels so good to go where you want to go, so no Mom. I will not sit still while you take my picture! And furthermore, I want to explore this sticker you just put on my shirt!

Aaron’s rampant mobility is also the reason why this post is so late. I am either off chasing after him or am completely pooped! Frequently both at the same time! I have loved every stage that he had gone through (Admittedly, the older baby stuff is more fun given how hard it is to be around brand new babies after what we went through with Noah) but this one is a tough one. Seeing more of his personality come out, and his joy over what he can do now does make it more endearing though!

Last time I posted, we had just started at the feeding clinic to begin working with him on solid foods. We have kept that up, and have learned a lot. Where we left off was trying to get him to try “hard munchables” or food that is in hard stick form like carrot sticks, celery sticks, baby biscuits, and yes, slim jims. Now we have moved on to different textures. He has pudding (he really likes vanilla), pretzel sticks, dum dum suckers (seriously. He is just gross with these things, and gets so mad when it’s time to take it away!!!), townhouse crackers, cheese puffs (like cheetos), baby puffs, mandarin oranges and chopped pears. He is doing a great job of tasting everything, and the whole point of our feeding practice sessions with him is just play. Our therapist calls them “painting parties” since we try different textures and just see how it feels and maybe tastes. He doesn’t really swallow very much if anything. Our therapist promises us that that is not the concern at this point. I must say that he didn’t want to put anything in his mouth before, and now he will at least try things, so it is progress. We go once a week to meet with an occupational therapist, and will keep it up as long as we need to!

Painting Party!!!

Dum Dum Sucker...Yum!

Aaron has started at his new daycare at this point. Last month, much to our shock and horror, his wonderful, perfect babysitter quit so she could go back to school. A massive search ensued to find a replacement, and now Aaron is happily enrolled at the local Montessori school. It took about two weeks for him to get used to it and decide that he likes it. Good lord, that was so hard. We felt guilty, guilty, guilty leaving him there, and second guessed our decision multiple times. It was awful. Honestly, we were at our wits end trying to find somewhere that we felt good about. This was pretty much the only option. Hindsight? We are so glad he is there! He is learning so much, and is really enjoying his teachers and getting to be social with the other kids. It is really bizarre. I grew up in a house where my mother stayed home with my brother and me, and I always thought that would be what I would do. I never really saw the benefits of doing it the other way. Now that I am watching my kiddo go to a great daycare, I see how much he is learning, and how much fun he has with the other kids in his class. He is getting so much out of it!

For example, I spent his first day there hanging out in the class with him for a few hours. When it got to be snack time for the older babies, they got them all set up at the little table with bananas and goldfish crackers. You know how much trouble Aaron has had having any interest in solid foods so as you can imagine, I didn’t think he’d care much about it. But, lo and behold, he went crawling up to the table and looked interested in what everyone else was doing. The teacher asked if he’d like some. I thought sure, what the heck? Give it a try. They sat him at the table with the other kids and gave him some. You would not believe the look on his face. He was so proud and excited to be there with everyone else, and even took a taste of the goldfish crackers! I think a little peer pressure will definitely help our food issue!!!

The hardest part for him about getting used to it is that all the babies are in the same room whether they are napping or not. The cribs are on one side of the room, and the play area is on the other, separated by a half wall. They learn to sleep with lights on and noise all around them. Aaron was a mess for the first several days because he was used to sleeping in a dark, quiet environment. He got no naps in for several days. After about two weeks, he got the hang of it, and then everything started to settle into a new normal, and it has been great ever since. We are glad he is there and that he likes it. It really is a great daycare.

With the new daycare and all the crazy food (uh…pudding and dum dum suckers? Guess where that ALWAYS ends up?! His hair!!!) Aaron is getting baths a LOT more often than before. I did a big cleanup job on our bathtub, putting some of our things up, as well as getting the toys installed in a toy caddy in the shower wall. He has really gotten to the place where he thinks it’s fun to take a bath. He loves to splash and play, and he sings and talks to me while we do this pretty much on a nightly basis. I can get him cleaned up and out pretty quickly now. His hair looks so funny when I am done! It is really getting long. (I am not ready for his first haircut yet though!) It wipes him out pretty well at the end of the day, and helps to get him down for the night. Our evenings are a bit of a marathon with getting him home from daycare, doing our “painting party” with solid foods, bath time, books, and bed. Once he’s down, I madly clean and prep all the bottles for the next day, and then I crash as well. It is exhausting, but fun!

Life just continues at the Wilkerson household! We are getting ready for his big first birthday! It is amazing to look back at the blog posts just after we had him and see how far we have come in a year. I look forward to posting on all of that soon!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Months Old

Weights and measures this month are as follows:

  • Weight: 20 pounds, 1 ounce

  • Height: 30 inches

  • Head: 18.5 inches

I feel like so much has happened this month! First off, Aaron had his first flu bug. I cannot believe we have made it this far without him getting sick! I know perfectly well that this will not last forever, though I am incredibly grateful that he was not sick while he was so small and vulnerable. This first flu bug was not a bad one at all. I got a call from his babysitter saying that he had been throwing up. It was a super hot day, and they do not have air conditioning (a common thing in Colorado. Seriously…) so that might have been part of it. She stripped him down to his diaper, which helped, and I left him that way the rest of the day. I got him home and fed him a bunch to keep him from getting dehydrated. He had a fever of 100, though once we got some ibuprofen in him, his temperature came down to normal and he felt great! It was so hard to keep him down once the medicine had kicked in! I am seeing the beauty in using a little bit of TV to keep them entertained in circumstances like this. It has been something we’ve been avoiding, but seeing him feeling like he wants to party when he is technically sick made me re-think that a bit.

Therefore, I started to TiVo Sesame Street! He LOVES puppets right now, and laughs and does a little baby dance when it comes on. His favorite character is Murray, the red fuzzy one that does interviews on the street throughout the show. I really don’t want a zombie for a son, so he doesn’t get access to it all the time. I got some Sesame Street CD’s from the library, and we got some of their books as well, and he is having a blast with it all.

Here's Murray:

We also took our first vacation with him as well. We really enjoy doing the Courage Classic in the summer to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital. In particular, we raise money for the Gene Team that benefits the Inherited Metabolic Diseases Clinic that helped us so much after Noah died to understand his illness and how to prevent future children from getting it. The event takes place up at Copper Mountain, and Chris and my father ride the 200 or so mile route. We get a condo, and my mom and I relax while the guys ride. It was the perfect first vacation with the baby because we had a great home base with the condo with plenty of room to take care of whatever he needed, yet we had easy access to Copper Mountain Village to be a part of the activities as we could. He did great with it all, and had fun seeing all the activity. The air is cooler (in the 70’s every day) so we got to enjoy a lot of fresh air too. It was a fun, relaxing weekend, great to see our Gene Team friends again, as well as meet other families with the same class of illness that our family has faced.

Here's our favorite photos from the weekend:

Aaron with Dad at the finish line. Aaron is wearing a zebra print bib for the Gene Team (team mascot)

Taking a really relaxing nap!

Waiting for Dad and Pawpaw to cross the finish line!

They made it!

Family photo on the last day.

Last month I wrote about possibly switching pediatricians. We have decided to go ahead and do it, however, we decided to put it off until we get some visits in with a pediatric dietitian I found to help us figure out Aaron’s continuing problem with adjusting to eating solid foods. There is a bunch of referral paperwork that has gone back and forth, and having a well established relationship with a pediatrician has been helpful.

Let me back up a minute here and explain. I attended a health and wellness webinar at my work, where they let us know that we have access to six visits a year with a dietitian if we would like as a part of our insurance. The thought immediately clicked in my head that that would be just the sort of expert we need to work out this whole food issue with Aaron, so I got on the phone and had them set me up with the best one in town. This lady works as a part of a team that includes a dietitian, a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, and a pediatrician that handles special food issues and disorders in children. They evaluated Aaron and sure enough, they absolutely believe that he has some sensory integration issues with food. Basically, it is a behavioral issue that he can and will grow out of, but some special care with how we present food to him must be taken so that we avoid some bad habits down the road. Because he has been reluctant to do this the ordinary way, his tongue only moves up and down (not side to side). This is a muscle that he needs to develop. His ability to manipulate and swallow solid food doesn’t work the way it should as a result of how he functions now. What do we do? To start off with, they have us feeding him in a booster chair on the floor (so it is different from his high chair, which has gotten to be a traumatic experience for him with all of our force feeding). We put applesauce on his tray, and let him put his hands in it. We give him what they call “hard munchables.” These are basically hard food that is in a stick form that he can easily hold onto. They gave him Slim Jims, licorice that was a bit dried out so it is hard, celery, and biter biscuits (hard baby biscuits). He can dip in the applesauce if he wants, though if he doesn’t, it's no big deal. If he holds it out to me, I am to put it in my mouth. It is his way of asking “Is this safe Mom?” By putting it in my mouth, in his world, I am saying to him “yes, this is safe.” Then he will feel more comfortable to put it in his own mouth. I am not allowed to wipe his mouth. We just make a mess, and play. They also have an empty honey bottle (the one shaped like a bear) filled with water, and a straw in it. They want him drinking water by straw now rather than use a sippy cup.. Again, they are trying to get his tongue moving in a new way, and this helps. The whole thing is like a big conversation and play. The goal is NOT the number of bites he takes and swallows. It is just for him to interact with the food in a positive way. When he puts his hands up and gives any sign that he’s done playing, we’re done. Nothing is forced. So far he loves it. He mutilated a Slim Jim last night. It is clearly his favorite. I guess at this point, he is developing taste buds, so really flavorful things are good. What an odd thing to give a baby! We are going to do a bunch of follow-up appointments, and I feel encouraged that we are finally on the right track with this.

Here's a picture of Aaron's dinner plate. Going counter clockwise starting with the applesauce are: Slim Jim sticks, biter biscuits, celery, carrots, licorice, and his honey bear with water is at the top. Yummy!

When Aaron holds something out towards us, we are to put it in our mouths to show him that this is safe. No kidding, he will then put whatever it is in his mouth in response afterward.

Aaron is taking a turn putting the Slim Jim in his own mouth. He loves it!

More than worrying about the number of bites he takes, the goal is mostly to just have fun! Mission accomplished!

Enjoying a cool drink of water from his honey bear!

One big stressful thing that has happened this month is that his babysitter quit! Chris and I have both been grieving losing her! Our babysitter while we are at work has been a wonderful stay-at-home mom of a kindergartner. She is such a loving and caring person. Aaron was her only full time kiddo, so he has gotten so much special attention. He lives on her hip all day long, and has done so well with her. She has decided to go back to school this fall, so her schedule is going to be a bit erratic now, making this situation no longer work. We immediately started pounding the pavement trying to find someone else. The area of town we live in is nice, but has pockets of not so great neighborhood not that far from us, and it seemed that all the home daycare settings we found were in the not so great areas. I would comb the state daycare license website to check people out, and find complaint after complaint on just about everybody. It hardly inspired confidence when considering leaving Aaron in the care of a complete stranger! Finally, we decided to check out the local Montessori School since they take babies. After the tour, Chris and I both felt that warm fuzzy feeling that we were on the right track. It is ridiculously expensive, but wow, do they have a great program.We decided the cost was worth it for the peace of mind. He is now enrolled and starts on Monday! This is a very different environment from what he is used to, so pray it goes well. If he likes it, he will be grandfathered into their awesome pre-school program when he is older. Everything is educational and exploratory and caters to what he wants to do. I think it will be so good for him, especially as curious and mobile as he is these days!

Speaking of being mobile, my little guy is getting to be quite good with crawling, getting more comfortable moving with his belly off the ground (he has been army crawling like a pro for a while now). The big new thing he loves to do is to pull up standing! With his crawling, he keeps getting over by the coffee table and bonking his head, so I went out and bought a new coffee table that is a brown leather ottoman. Once that was put in the house, he quickly discovered how much fun it is to pull up to standing on it on his own and holding onto it, to play with toys on top of it, and to take a few steps around it! I think we will have a walking baby very soon as he continues to get stronger and more comfortable doing this. I can't seem to get the house baby-proofed fast enough! It is amazing how now that he can get around so much easier, how he manages to find even the smallest things I wouldn't think he'd get to. Pine needles or other things that come in with the dog after she's been outside, clumps of dog hair that's been on the floor for a nanosecond, anything really, and it all goes in his mouth so we really have to watch him closely.


Here he is crawling:

And, here he is standing:

He is just so cute, and communicative. He points to things a lot these days, and is very inquisitive. We are just head over heels in love with him. Watching him grow is so amazing. Thanks for reading along with this particularly long post!

Friday, August 5, 2011

9 Months Old

(Look who just discovered that that thing on his shirt is a sticker! I think the coming months' photos may be a bit more difficult to capture!)

Good lord I am late on this! I have actually had it written, but just not posted. The reason? Aaron hasn't slept in a couple of weeks! I never get those precious few minutes between when he goes to bed, and when I go to bed to get a few things done. Oh well. Better late than never!

He’s 9 months old, and ready for another update! Here’s his weights and measures:

  • Weight: 19 pounds, 5 ounces (25th percentile)

  • Height: 30 inches (95th percentile)

  • Head: 18 1/8 inches (75th percentile) – This is smaller than what I measured last month. It is hard to get a baby to sit still to get accurate measurements! We just take our best guess I suppose!

Aaron had a doctor’s visit today. Immediately, I was concerned about his weight. He has been tracking at the 50th percentile since he was born, and now all of a sudden he is at the 25th percentile?! It has been so difficult with getting him to eat solid foods. Is he not gaining weight the way he is supposed to be as a result? The doctor said that this is typical. As babies learn to move on their own, and work so hard at it, they burn more calories, and their weight gain can slow down. Whew!

Everything looked great with where he is developmentally. He can sit pretty well on his own (with a bit of help at times). He mostly prefers to play while on his tummy. He couldn’t really care less about sitting, but he will do it. He is doing great with doing an army crawl to get to where he wants to be. I think this is really a very instinctual part of being a baby with how much he has developed in this regard. He gets to where he wants to go doing the army crawl, so why learn to do it with your tummy off the ground? Who cares? The need has been satisfied! The doctor agreed and said that he has seen some babies never do it with their tummies off the ground! They go straight to walking from here. We will see what Aaron chooses to do. I am not too worried about it.

Top on my list with the doctor today was to talk about Aaron and solid food. This has continued to be a problem. We’ve tried it all: homemade baby food, store bought baby food, bits of fresh banana and avocado, mum crackers, baby puffs, different eating utensils, changing up feeding him in the high chair vs. his bumbo chair vs. just sitting in one of our laps, feeding him with me in the room, with me out of the room (I smell like breast milk to him), and everything else in between and none of it has worked. The doctor was quick to say that he is still growing as he should be, so he is obviously getting what he needs. Aaron is breastfeeding well, and it is a comfort thing as well as a food source. He is pretty attached to it. I did some research, and my insurance will pay for six visits a year with a nutritionist. I did more research and found the best pediatric dietitian in Colorado Springs, and got the doctor today to write us a referral. I can’t wait to see her and see what ideas she has for us. The doctor was eager to say that we need to watch our expectations, because this may not work either, but I think we have to try. I wonder, is this typical of breastfed babies over formula fed ones? There are so few women out there that I know of that have breastfed exclusively as long as I have. If you did it over the long haul, and had this experience, can you send me a note to let me know? Lord, it is so stressful!

I am really kicking around changing pediatricians. I have such mixed feelings about it. I love our doctor. We went with him because he is currently treating patients with MCADD, the illness that Noah had. We wanted an expert in diagnosing and treating it in case Aaron had it. We now know that he is free and clear of the illness thank God. We’ve known for months now.

Reasons to go:

  • The doctor’s office is as far away from home/work as you can get. It is a hike to get there for sure.

  • Our doctor is in his mid-sixties. He will likely retire in the not-too-distant future.

  • The last few visits, they have been out of stock of at least one of the shots that he needs. Their answer to this is “That’s ok! You can just come back in a couple of days and we’ll get you right in.” Right… I have to take off work, go yank Aaron out of daycare, and drive across town to the office. There’s half a day gone, when I already had to take half a day to make the original appointment!

  • I had a terrible experience with a PA. She basically freaked me out and had be bring Aaron in for something innocuous that could have been resolved over the phone if she’d taken 5 minutes to ask me some additional questions.

Reasons to stay:
  • I do like the doctor. He has a ton of experience.

  • If Chris and I are lucky enough to get to have another baby (a big “if” considering we have to do IVF to have a healthy baby. $$$$$$$$$) we will need an MCADD expert again to make sure that all is well. He is the best in town. I am uncomfortable being “that guy” who uses this doctor and then bails once we know everything is ok.

  • It’s a pain in the rear to switch everything over. The easy thing to do is to just stay.

Chris and I interviewed a doctor at an office that is closer to home. It is a huge practice with a lot of nice benefits. In a perfect world, I’d find a doc that can roll with my hippie self, and be encouraging when I feel like taking my kiddo to the acupuncturist to handle certain issues, or trying herbal remedies and such. The problem is that being a grieving mom, there is also a huge part of me that needs someone more cerebral and aggressive when it comes to modern western medicine. I don’t know that I would find someone that I would feel totally jazzed about since those are two conflicting things on my wish list. The guy we talked to is a brainy type. He had heard of MCADD, though never treated any patients with it (it is extremely rare after all). He spouted off enough info to us that said that yes, he really does get what it is. Who knows. Since we have this referral to the dietitian going on, we plan to sit tight at the moment until that all goes through. Then it will be time to figure out what to do.

Here's a couple of videos of our boy for this month. The first one shows his new trick: waving good-bye! He feels a bit self-conscious doing it, so he doesn;t do it that vigrously all the time. He gives us these looks like "is this right? You want me to do this with my hand, yes?" He is too funny, and very cute!

Another thing he's doing is getting VERY squirmy when it is time to change a diaper or clothes. You can tell he thinks it's fun to be wrestled into and out of his clothes. (FYI, please know that right after he started moving around like this, we moved the crib mattress down to a more reasonable level!) Take a look:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

8 Months Old

I had to post two pictures this month because I love them both! It was an impossible choice!

Here we are at 8 months! Aaron’s weights and measures are as follows:

  • Height: 30 inches

  • Weight: 19 pounds, 4.5 ounces

  • Head: 19 inches

I can hardly believe it, but I spent the other weekend packing away most of Aaron’s 6 month sized clothing since he’s wearing the 9 month sized stuff every day. I got out the next size up, the 12 month stuff. I pull these outfits out and they look so long, until I hold them up against Aaron and see that he really doesn’t have that much further to go until they fit. Good lord, he is so tall! All the little baby stuff is gone. I was sad to see it go, and to remember the excitement of him wearing those things. This all happens so fast.

The big new development this month is crawling! Life is really about to change in our house with this one. Aaron has figured out how to get on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. You can see the wheels turning in his head. He just KNOWS that he’s supposed to do something with this! He’s tried hopping on his back end to move forward. He’s beginning to get the hang of moving one knee forward in conjunction with the appropriate arm. He can now do the army crawl, rolling and wiggling to get to where he wants to go. I turn my head away for one second, and he’s off his play mat and somewhere on the floor I wouldn’t expect. Oh my lord, I need to baby proof my house! I went to Babies R’ Us the other day to get a bunch of stuff, and I need to clean out our things from pretty much everywhere. It is so exciting to see him learn this new skill, yet there is a small sense of dread over what it means. We will figure it all out though!

Videos of Aaron's first attempts at crawling:

The weather has really warmed up in Colorado, which means we get a lot more outside time and fresh air, which is so much fun to do with Aaron. We live down the street from a ranch made up to look like Colorado during the time when the settlers were first here. There are all kinds of farm animals that live there, and we’ve had so much fun walking through to show them all to Aaron. His favorites are the chickens. He giggles at them as they bob their heads and cluck around the coop. They have three new baby chicks that are so cute. They also have two new 5 week old piglets. One is quite vocal, and Aaron laughs at their oinking noises. We walk through and sing “Old McDonald” to him as we come across the animals. My new favorite thing is to take him there around naptime. He’ll fall asleep in his stroller, and I’ll roll him over to one of the park benches in the shade. He sleeps in the warm breeze, and I sit and read my book until he wakes up. Then we proceed on through the ranch to visit any of the animals we may have missed.

Aaron at the ranch:

Aaron continues to grow teeth like you wouldn’t believe. His four front teeth have come in, as well as his two bottom ones that he’s had for a while now. I just peeked the other day, and I see four more that are now coming in. Two are up on top, and then the other two are coming in on the bottom. My acupuncturist has a remedy she prescribes called Tender Teeth that I’ve found works amazingly well. Aaron had a week where he was fussy and didn’t sleep as his two front teeth were breaking through. As soon as I started giving him the Tender Teeth, he was back to his old self, and sleeping so much better. I am grateful to have found this stuff, though it is a bit pricy at $20 a bottle. I’ll just use it as he needs it I guess.

We have kept up with trying to feed Aaron solid foods, but it continues to be a challenge, and I feel so guilty a lot of the time about it. We’ve been at this for two months now, and he still really doesn’t have much interest in eating solids. We can get a few spoonfuls in him a night, but that’s about it. He turns his head, clamps his mouth shut, whines and gets annoyed, and spits out what we manage to sneak into his mouth. Seems like all the books say that at this point he should be getting multiple feedings a day and he should be eating a lot – way more than his few bites of food. He still breastfeeds like a champ, and he is growing, so do I worry? Is he just not ready? Am I doing it wrong? After Noah, food is definitely where I feel the most anxious and self-conscious. He has been such a great eater since he was born, thank God, but on this issue I am really struggling. Ideas or suggestions would be most welcome if you have any.

I hate to even talk about sleep since I feel like it takes so little to get us derailed and I suddenly haven’t slept in a week. To be honest, he has had more and more nights where he has slept through the night. A round of teething will kick up and he’ll be up a lot in the night, but then we will have stretches of time where we put him down and don’t see him until morning. I’ve been trying to start the process of putting him to bed between 7-8pm. I still nurse him to sleep. He falls into a light sleep pretty quickly, but then it takes longer, maybe an hour or so, to get him to deep sleep where I can lay him in his crib. I don’t mind. I sit quietly with him and read my book until he’s ready. I love feeling him snuggled up next to me. It’s pretty peaceful time together. He is such a sweetie, and I love to look at him and just enjoy him during this time. I wonder how we will do this when he’s older, and I can no longer nurse him down. How am I teaching him to go to bed on his own? I’m not. But, I try to take each day as it comes, and this works for now. Sleep has become such a precious commodity since he was born. It is a matter of survival to just do what works. We’ll figure out how to get him down on his own later I guess.

Finally, I wanted to post some additional pictures of my little guy. When he was 6 months old, I had pictures taken of him by my favorite photographer, Chrisie at Blue Columbine Photography. Love, love, LOVE how they turned out!