Tuesday, October 23, 2012

13 months

Wow, the 13 month has brought a lot of changes into our life.  To say he has mastered walking would be an understatement.  In just a few weeks it went from a wobbly toddler to a quick little runner giggling as he ran away from his parents at every chance.  With the good also comes the bad. A few more bumps and scrapes as Brayden can get up to speed fast, but stopping often involves tripping on toys that he has left around the house.

The not so fun development is the ability to throw tantrums.  I thought it was supposed to be the terrible two's, who said anything about the terrible 13 month olds.  Brayden knows what he wants, and if he doesn’t get it, will sit on the floor and lean forward and slam his head into the carpet.  Luckily for him he hasn't tried to throw a tantrum on cement as I think it would be a quick lesson of how tantrums are not as fun as they may seem.

His additional independence has also changed our summer a lot from last year.  A relaxing day at the lake where you lay him in a blanket and read has become a day where you’re lucky if you get to refill your drink as you chase after a giggly baby, scoop sand out of his mouth that he decided might taste good, and keep a steady supply of sippys and snacks as being a big boy walker takes a lot of energy.  

My baby is a 1 year old

My little baby just became a 1 year old.  It’s amazing to look back at the first year of his life, the stages, the changes, and also look forward to everything the next year will bring.

His birthday party went well, even if everything didn’t work out as planned.  My goal for his Mickey themed birthday was to use my birthday gift of a circuit and make most of the decorations myself.  Well, the circuit never worked for me, which already threw a big wrench in my plans.  Add to that the fact that some things are just too expensive, while others just take too much time, we had to make some cuts.

Even with the cuts, it was an amazing party, and the weather turned out fantastic as well letting everyone enjoy the outside weather.  We had mickey burgers for lunch, mickey cake for desert, and mickey ears for fun.  I think Brayden was more excited about the sheer number of people at his party then the presents or anything else.  He loves to be around people, and whenever there is a party, he doesn’t want to nap as he is afraid he'll miss even a second of the fun.

Catching up to the one year mark

What has gone on you ask, well everything.  Life has gotten extra busy, and that’s a good thing. But here are some of the highlights of the 7 month blog break.

- Braydens first Christmas It’s funny how a special holiday gets even more special with a little one.  I can't wait until next year’s Christmas when Brayden can get excited about presents and stockings and opening things up.  This year he was too young for much of the excitement, but it was still an amazing holiday for our family.  It also helps to have braydens presents under the tree as without them it always used to look a little bare.  We probably spoiled him a little too much but that’s what Christmas is for.  To give parents a reason

- Sledding  We got to sled a few times this winter, and needless to say, it’s a little anticlimactic for an infant.  Brayden did well and didn’t seem to mind it, but I’m looking forward to trying again next year when he can enjoy the rush of wind and the chill of snowflakes on your face.  I’m sure it didn’t help that he was in a snow suit much like the Christmas story that keep his arms and legs spread out.  But he sure was a warm little peanut.

- Museum - there is not much you can do in winter with a baby, but visiting inside things like the museum was a great choice.  It also holds some extra significance with the face that mommy and daddy had wedding pictures there due to the rain.  Brayden loved the people more than the exhibits, but he was fascinated by the butterfly exhibit and even got to see a few butterflies up close. 

- Standing up on things - right about at the 7 month range, Brayden began to pull himself up on various pieces of furniture. I think it started with his crib.  Every morning or after nap, when we go into his room, he is standing up in the corner of his crib, with his arms held to in the "get me outta here" pose.  Standing up added a whole list of things for mommy and daddy to do, as now it was another couple of feet that needed to be baby proofed.  From cabinet knobs and drawer handles to clearing off coffee and end tables, it’s slowing becoming more and more braydens domain.  Where once a flower pot or picture was, now is a toy truck and stuffed animal.

- Walking a few steps  - we began trying to walk about 10 months, with a few steps at a time.  It was more brought on  by mommy setting him standing in the middle of the room and then moving a few feet away then Brayden wanting to walk himself.  Regardless, he was starting to pick it up, or at least get a few steps down.  He quickly decided however that walking was just too slow.  So he regressed a bit, and converted to a lightning fast crawl whenever he was put in a standing position and then given something out of his reach.

- Hand foot and mouth  -  Another thing that didn’t help the walking was that about at 11 months, Brayden got hand foot and mouth.  Isn't daycare great, they learn to share everything, even germs.  We had seen a week before that one kid had it, and one week later, Brayden and 4 other classmates came down with it as well.  The blisters cover his hands, feet, mouth / lips, and bum.  To say it looked painful is an understatement.  And there isn't a treatment, beyond giving it time to resolve itself.  Talk about feeling like a helpless parent. 

Brayden also stopped trying to walk completely during this time, and who can blame him.  When you have huge blisters on your feet, crawling sounds pretty good to even me.  All in all, it’s amazing how quickly babies recover.  I could swear when it was happening that he would have scars from the blisters as they were everywhere and big.  But with it behind us now, there is not a trace of the marks and even during the process he was in far less pain at least outward showing then I know I would have been.

- Swim lessons  The Lake is such a party of our family, from gathering there for social events to relaxing on a hot summer day.  We knew we wanted to get Brayden into swim lessons early, as the quicker he can swim, the more comfortable we will be at the lake/pools/Kalahari etc.  And who says 9 months is too early to do the butterfly?  We signed Brayden up for "swim lessons" at the YMCA to accomplish that goal.  Well, I use the quotes because at the baby stage, it’s more about getting comfortable being in water with a parent, and not about learning swimming itself.

It was a great way however to do some family bonding mandatory each week.  We tried having both mommy and daddy swim with Brayden, but that got too overwhelming so we decided to switch off each week.  That also allowed for some cute pictures to happen, so you can't complain

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brayden has 5 months under his belt now

So much has happened that it’s hard to summarize it all in a single post. From the joy of a first holiday to the scares of a first ER visit, we defiantly didn’t have a bland month.

Let’s start at the beginning, because that’s a very good place to start. With the fourth month behind us, we were ready to begin planning for the first major holiday, Halloween. It seems that like most things, everyone likes to get cute clothes, but like most things, it’s a one-time wearing and done. We went into the holiday with 4 outfits already for Brayden. But the issue with having things already is that it doesn’t feel like a cohesive unit. So we of course had to get a fifth, which blended with the family.

So the week leading up to Halloween, Brayden got to be a pumpkin, skeleton, Dalmatian, and cat. All were cute, but the pumpkin was the top winner as with the cute little hat and bright colors, he captured everyone’s hearts with a smile.

Before we could get to the Halloween day however, we got the biggest scare of our lives. Brayden had been dealing with a cough over the past week or so, and it was getting a bit worse, or at least not getting better. So we decided to schedule a checkup with the dr to just play it safe. We even contemplated canceling the day of, as the cough seemed to be dying down a bit. No one wants to the parent that is always forcing their kid to the Dr for the slightest sniffle. But it turns out we were super lucky to go in as the dr immediately looked at Brayden and said he was having issues breathing and took an oxygen count that was in the low 80's where the ideal is 99 or 100.

If that wasn't scary enough, Kristy had to be at the appointment alone, as John was at work. They gave Brayden a treatment of oxygen and medication via a mask and despite fighting it, was supposed to help. After two treatments there was a slight increase, but not enough to be comfortable, so Kristy was told to call John and let him know he needed to join her immediately.

Shortly before John arrived the dr's office called 911 for an ambulance and it arrived shortly after john did. Before they knew it Brayden, Mom, and Dad were all taken via an Ambulance to children’s hospital as they were more equipped to deal with infant patients. It was the first ambulance ride for all of us and at least we were able to all rides instead of someone having to follow via car. Luckily after arriving and getting checked in, we were released within a few hours with a boy who was doing much better and a prescription for a nebulizer. The nebulizer treatments were easier said than done as you can imagine how much a baby likes to have things strapped to his face, let alone a grumpy sick baby who already doesn’t feel very good.

We began our new routine just in time for Halloween. Despite being too young for candy, we were not going to miss getting to trick or treat on his first Halloween. We bundled him up and got him in the stroller and begin the journey to hit the various important houses. We stopped at John’s parents, Kristy's cousin Kelly’s, Kristy's parents, and lastly John's sister’s house. Each place was excited to see our cuddly little lion and was more focused on spending time talking with us then the other treat or treaters. The following weekend we had our Halloween party, and got to show Brayden the joy of bringing a party into your house. It was also a great excuse to clean the house, as it’s funny how easy it gets dirty these days.

Beyond the experiences of the month, we also begin some firsts, one of the most exciting of which was the first foods. I say exciting as it is a milestone, but it is still even to this day a milestone that is a challenge to truly cross. To say he didn't like solids, would be like saying winter is cold. Both are true, but neither do justice to the true feeling. We tried various methods to feed Brayden, but most were met with dislike. From eating in the bumbo on the kitchen floor to eating in the bathtub. He is willing to put the spoon in his mouth once, but once he gets that taste or texture, he won’t be fooled again. It’s impressive how he can contort his body to avoid that spoon, but he always finds a way. In the end i think we are getting progress, but who knew it would be this hard. The trick has been mixing a few sips of bottle with a spoonful of orange stuff. He seems to like most squash and sweet potatoes. I say like most, but i guess hate least would work too.

Another first this month was getting truly sick. I'm not talking about the hospital visit, but instead about the whole family getting the flu. Kristy had come down with a bug on a Saturday evening, and by midnight of that same night, Brayden was hit with it as well. As a parent, there is nothing that makes you feel as helpless as your 5 month old crying out in pain and throwing up, because he doesn’t know what is going on in his body, but nothing you can do to help. At least when they are older kids, you can help them to the bathroom, they can use the toilet, have a sip of water to wash out their mouth, or tell you its coming. John slept on the couch outside braydens room that night and was up every hour and a half or so just to check on him and make sure he was doing okay. That lasted until John came down with it the following afternoon, and luckily Brayden was doing better by that point.

The biggest development on his movement this month has been his ability to sit up. It went from a propping up and sort of collapsing over to him sitting up straighter then most of us do for long periods of time and playing independently as he sat looking around. He has also begun to think about crawling. He will get on all fours and rock back and forth, but isn’t quite ready yet to begin moving. I'm sure he is just taking pity on his parents who already feel like he is growing up to fast.

The Fourth Month

Rolling over has become so easy, that he does it everywhere. He tries to roll over to get out of his car seat, yeah, that always works out well with the straps. He rolls over during diaper changes, that one’s a blast. He even rolls over at times when he is taking a bottle. Now to be fair, he is also able to roll over in his crib, which means that before when he would wake himself by flipping over, he just flips right back and goes to bed. It helps with the daycare naps as well because they only put him on his back, and he can now get into his comphy position and hit some zzz's before the next activity.

Braydens forth month was filled with trips and excursions as we did everything we could to show him the world, or at least a few Wisconsin highlights. We went to the elegant farmer and got to go apple picking and find the baby’s first pumpkin. He did remarkably well with the long lines, and it helped that Kristy was able to use the baby Bjorn to carry him so he was just able to look around and see lots of people. He is such a people watcher. He got his first hay ride and helped mom pick some apples that could be made into baby food. When we got to the pumpkin patch, we had to find the perfect Brayden size pumpkin. Needless to say, there are not a ton of tiny pumpkins, they call those gourds. But if history has shown anything, we don’t give up easily. We ended up fining the perfect pumpkin and got a few pictures with Brayden in the pumpkin patch.

Another excursion we took was to holy hill, to see the changing colors. We made the brilliant move of walking the trails, and at each split, choose a random path to go on without looking at a trail map. Needless to say the first mile was awesome, but the next three were a little long, only to leave us miles from the car and the trail just ended. Brayden was doing excellent during the entire trip as he was in a backpack carrier on John's back and loved to see the outside and all the leaves. We found a fellow hiker who directed us down a few roads and a mile latter we finally found the parking lot. I promise that is an experience we won’t forget.

One of the biggest transitions this month was switching Brayden from soy formula to regular formula. He has been on soy formula since about 1 month old, and to begin that switch back, it was the first step to introducing solid foods. It was done over a week and a half and in stages of half soy and half new, but the transition proved to be easier than expected. He was able to start taking the basic formula and has not looked back.

We also got to experience our first trip without Brayden, which was probably one of the hardest things imaginable. John's work was sending him to Vegas, and offered to have Kristy come along if we paid for her airfare. It was something that we couldn't pass up, and Kristy's parents were more than excited to take Brayden for the week. It was however quickly apparent that Vegas is not our scene, the drinking, gambling, etc., and we looked most to our nightly Skype sessions with the boy. It was hard to accept, but it was quickly realized that we would rather spend a night doing anything with our boy, then a night of doing anything else, without him. I guess that is what being a parent is all about.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where did the last 4 months go?

How can 4 months seem like a lifetime.

It’s hard to imagine that just four months into parenthood it seems like a lifetime has past. We have long forgotten the struggles we went through to get here, which is a good thing. It means we have let go of the stress and bad memories to replace them with amazing events like a first giggle or a brilliant smile at 6 am when you wake him up for the day. It’s hard to find moments these days that are not magical in one way or another. Even the times that are less fun, like the first time he gets sick, represents a new chapter in our lives.

This month we did that first sick day. It was an interesting thing to get that call, and to inform work you have to go home, but not be sick yourself. Brayden could have cared less that he was sick, as he was just as smiley and happy and playful as always. I guess that’s a blessing of being sick when your this young, you don’t know that your sick, so you haven’t let learned how to milk it for all that it is worth. Another interesting thing about having a child that is sick … you can get it too. So far this month, John has received both a cold from Brayden as well as a virus. Isn’t he so good at sharing.

This month has had plenty of great developments as well. Beyond the giggle that melts your heart, he has a whole new personality that is developing. You can already tell that he will be a thinker, as so often you will find him staring at thing with a focused look, trying to take it all in. He is getting better about being able to play by himself and loves to jump around in the jumparoo and exersaucer. We will have our hands full when he starts to be very moble. He is scooting around on his stomach but its only a matter of time before he starts to crawl.

He has perfected the roll over from the tummy to the back. Often when we go to check in on him during a nap he has rolled over to his back and is staring up waiting for our reaction. He has gotten the rolling over to the tummy a few times as well, but that’s less frequent of an occurrence. The tummy rolling seems to be easier as he has super strong legs, which will destine him for great things in sports. We have already decided that he will be in soccer and basketball, as well as a few others to try.

We had a photoshoot and learned that despite the fun stage, its not the most conducive to taking pictures. He is too old to sleep through it and give super cute sleepy pictures, but too young to know about posing or care that a camera is pointed at him. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of cute pics, but its going to be nice when we can bribe him with culvers to get a few extra good shots in before our time runs out.

Brayden is now 15 pounds and 26 inches long. He is 90% for height and 50% for weight. however for height and weight he is only in the 5th percentile. Dr says he is going to be long and lean.

It’s a wonder to think that about this time last year, we were figuring out that we were officially pregnant. How the world has changed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birth Story

I realize i never finished writing Brayden's birth story. So you all know that we went into the hospital on May 17th due to an interesting stress test. I immediately called into work to let them know that i wasn't going to be coming in for a while :) and give them the list of things that they needed to take care of (inform my temp, pick up our broken printer, and attend a meeting i was suppose to be a part of), lucky for me they were able to handle it all and i actually got scolded when i was responding to emails that day lol. I also tried to contact my parents as much to my poor planning they were in Chicago for the day at a conference (and i had agreed that i would wait to have the baby till they came back in 2 days, sorry mom and dad guess i lied) well since they were at the conference they weren't answering their phones. So i called and called and texted and called and finally emailed hoping they would get the message as i really didn't want them to miss this. they finally called me back (well actually she called john thinking i would be having contractions and not able to talk) and we explained what was going on and that they should come home but wouldn't need to rush home as it probably wouldn't be a baby until the next day.

Well when we went in we were told that i was going to be induced and i was hooked up to pictocin. The nurse forwarned us that it be take overnight before the real labor would start, and to setting in for a long process. I was on the pictocin to start the labor process for about an hour and supposedly was having contractions every 10 minutes (luckily i didn't feel them). when all of a sudden a nurse came in and took me off the pictocin and said the doctor would be in to see me shortly. John and i were a bit confused as to what was going on but we were completely OK with taking things as they came. This is when i called my mom and updated her on the situation and it was then decided that they would come home that day, but they had to figure out the train situation.

the doctor came in and explained that he had consulted with a few other doctors in regards to my unicorn uterus and it was decided that if i were to be induced there was a higher chance my uterus could rupture and cause many many problems. So instead of being induced i was put on the list for a c section. We were informed that there were a high number of c sections on the books for that day so we would have to wait a while. We were the 6th in line of 7 for the evening. It turns out we waited all day until 7:30 at night when it was finally our turn. It was about 6:30 when my parents finally arrived and my dad surprised me by coming home too. He was saying he was thinking about staying at the conference but knew he couldn't miss this even. So my guests and john and i hung out till it was c section time. It was a room full of loves ones eagerly awaiting the new arrival.

Finally, John and i were taken back to the operating room and john had to be dressed in his full scrubs (he sure did look cute in them) and i was taken into the OR alone to get my spinal and get prepped. The doctor and the nurses did a great job of keeping me calm and having me laugh and joke as they prepared things. It was finally time and John came in and sat down and i was cut open, it feels like it was only seconds until they were showing me my beautiful baby boy. i remember seeing him and having a tear fall down my cheek, i was so relieved and blessed that he came out so healthy and great. John informs me though that i was quite the bleeder as he stood up at one point and saw a pool of blood at the doctors feet and had to sit down before he passed out. After a while i finally had to ask the doctor if he was almost done closing me up as i was starting to feel some pressure on my insides, well turns out the doctor was playing around wanting to see first hand what a unicorn uterus looked like. Turns out the diagnosis was correct as the doctor verified.

Baby bray was born just a wiggly as he is today, and immedately peed on the nurse to say welcome to the world.

John went off with baby white (no name at that time) while i went off to the recovery room, since they had so many c sections that day babies could not be in the small recovery room as there were multiple moms there at the time. I took a bit of a nap in the recovery room coming off the drugs.

Baby bray was taken to the nursery to be cleaned up and have his vitals checked. He was given an apgar score of 9 wich is almost perfect. He got to see his daddy, grandma, and great grandma in the nursery windows. The only thing missing was a chance to see mommy.

when i was finally taken back to my room it was probably another 30 minutes until they brought the baby in. I remember asking john about every 5 minutes how much longer till i get to see him and hold him. when i finally did get to hold him it was such an amazing moment one that i will never forget. I then started to try to breast feed which is not an easy task and he did not take to it well either.

My parents then came back after going to dinner to meet their grandchild, they also brought Laura to meet him too. unfortunately the pictures came out blurry as we forgot to turn the flash on. The boy did get some greats gifts and he was already spoiled.

Its crazy to think that one moment we are a family of 2 and then next a family of 3.

John and i spent most of the day in shock as to what was happening, and that we were going to be parents that day. We watched tv and played online and even had some visitors, as Renee brought John dinner and then my grandparents showed up to keep us company too.

As we set our heads down to sleep that night, we wondered how we got so lucky, and wondered what the next few months would hold.