Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Redemption

Michael and I have decided to redeem ourselves after spending last weekend hold up in our house the ENTIRE time. Don't get me wrong, we had a nice and relaxing few days, but realized there are times our activities should require more than pajama pants.

So, tonight we're having date night! I'm not sure who is more excited, Michael and I or my mom (who gets to pick Grayson up from daycare and dote on him all evening). We're planning to go to dinner and then attend an art show fundraiser for the City Arts Center. I've never been to this event, but apparently it's a "see and be seen" type of affair.

I really could care less about that, but am looking forward to dressing up and spending the evening without drool or spit up on my clothing. That said, we'll probably find ourselves rushing to pick up Grayson by 9 p.m. because we're having withdrawals.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow Day!

There's nothing better than a snow day...especially one where your power stays on. Michael and I both got off work around 1 p.m. today due to freezing rain and an impending ice storm, so we are now enjoying some family time huddled up in our house. 

All signs point to a snow day tomorrow as well, and we're having fun taking care of projects around the house that we never seem to have time to complete. 

I got myself psyched up to tackle taking down the wallpaper in our guest bathroom. Surprisingly, it took me all of about 30 minutes to get it all done. It was the easiest wallpaper removal job in my life. If we'd known it would have come off so easily, we would have done this a long time ago. 

Once Michael putties up the holes, I'll start painting. This project is going so quickly, we don't even have new fixtures picked out yet. I figured it would take me a few days to even get this far. 

Well, our little man is stirring from his nap so I better go check things out. I'll try to post some new bathroom pics once we have paint on the walls. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Night in the Big Town

I think we're getting old. During our commute home from work this evening, Michael and I enjoyed an amazingly beautiful Oklahoma sunset while having a discussion about how nice it is to drive home knowing we have no weekend plans.

We were in our pajama pants by about 6:30 p.m. and our excitement for the evening consisted of introducing Grayson to a new food, some tummy time with the baby, and watching a Netflix DVD once our son went to bed. (The sad part was, we didn't even watch a popular movie. It was a sustainability documentary about how a dozen or so Portland-based companies incorporated the "natural step" process. I felt like I was back in my high school environmental science class.)

For the baby's "dinner," I steamed and pureed some zucchini for Grayson's first taste of real food. After making some questionable faces during the first few bites, he quickly decided it was way better than rice cereal and ate up the whole bowl.

Daddy was nearby to capture the moment.

I think he would have licked the bowl if he knew how.

I have to sign off now so I can go get in bed and start my book club book. It really takes so little to make me happy these days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

P.S.

I forgot to tell you that Grayson weighed in at 15 lbs. 1.5 oz. today when we went to the doctor. Such a chunker! He's becoming quite the arm workout when you carry him in the car seat. 

Food Allergy Dilemma

We're only at the first step in the food introduction process and we may have already found an allergy. I can't really say for sure if Grayson is allergic to rice cereal or if his eczema is just flaring up because of our recent crazy weather pattern.

Grayson's suffered from cradle cap practically since birth which morphed into eczema about a month ago. We've tried several different bath washes and lotions for sensitive skin, hydrocortizone creams and ointments, but nothing really helps much.

We introduced rice cereal into his diet on his 4 month b-day (Jan. 1) and he has been loving it, but we started feeding him twice a day last weekend and his eczema has gotten worse. He had a really bad flare up yesterday at school so we decided to take him to the doctor.

Of course, I was scared to feed him rice cereal last night if in fact he was having an allergic reaction, so I just gave him bottles. We went to the pediatrician this morning and Grayson's head and body still have dryness and some signs of eczema, but nothing like yesterday. His face is clear as can be (which could be the result of not feeding him cereal or the fact that it's 70 degrees today).

The doctor said he's been seeing a lot of eczema flare ups this week because our weather has been fluctuating drastically from cold to warm. He admitted there could be a link to the cereal, but didn't seem too concerned since Grayson didn't show any other signs of an allergy. He suggested we lay off the cereal and introduce some other food, then go back to the cereal and see if it causes a flare up.

It's all a bit frustrating and in the end is just trial and error. This goes against every problem-solving bone in my body. Why can't there be a clear answer: "yes, he's allergic" or "no, it's just a coincidence with the weather." Arg!

This whole parenting thing would be a lot easier if we could simply apply logic and have a clear outcome.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Random Updates

I just realized it's almost been a week since my last post. I feel like yesterday we were celebrating Christmas, yet January is nearly over!

I don't really have any big updates for Grayson this week. Nana and Popper (Michael's parents) came up from Houston last weekend and we enjoyed catching up with them. Michael and I took advantage of having babysitters to go on a date night on Saturday.

Grayson's been having a good week at school and at home. I think he may be going through a growth spurt because he's been eating more, taking really long naps and sleeping longer at night. Yesterday we had to wake him up at 7:30 a.m. to eat and get ready for school. I couldn't believe he wasn't up already.

We're (finally) back to our normal sleeping arrangements, now that the swaddle blanket saga is over. Grayson is sleeping in his crib and is unswaddled so he can move all around. He seems to be enjoying the freedom, and tends to kick around until he's positioned perpendicular to how I lay him down. Oh well, soon enough he'll be too long to fit that way so he'll have to adapt.

He's getting close to outgrowing our countertop bath tub which used to seem so big. We have a cute inflatable rubber ducky bathtub that sits inside the real tub, but I've been putting off using it since our tub is so deep and Roxy thinks that's her domain. She comes running every time we turn on the faucet and can even leap over the big side of the tub to get in if you don't catch her. This will be yet another one of her favorite places "invaded" by the baby.

That's the latest from our world. Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Milestone Hat Trick

Grayson has accomplished three new milestones this week. 

1. Laughing: it's the most adorable thing EVER! We caught it on video, but the file is so large I can't post it. Michael is working to edit just the laughing segment to a smaller size.

2. Discovering Roxy: For the last few weeks, Grayson has definitely been noticing Roxy and stares at her like he's trying to figure out what she is. This week he must have determined that whatever she is, she's safe, because he now enjoys reaching out to pet her. He's grabbed on to her fur a few times, but luckily let go pretty quickly. (He may be associating her with the "touch and feel" books I've been reading him. Hey, at least it's progress)

In turn, Roxy discovered Grayson's not so bad either and he may even be another person to love on her. This realization has resulted in the strong desire to constantly lick Grayson (which poses a challenge for his parents).

3. Honing the rollover: It's amazing how much a baby changes in just a matter of days. Grayson's gone from rolling onto his stomach and getting his hands pinned underneath himself, to mastering the roll and even pulling his legs up like he wants to take off crawling at any moment. He's better at rolling from his stomach to his back, but has made great progress due to some added floor time at school. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Update

We've had a wonderful, carefree weekend with no real plans and plenty of sleep. Ahh, sleep. It's such an amazing thing.

Grayson's sleep habits have been getting better every night and he's even been sleeping in until 7 a.m. the last few days which was a nice gift to his parents. I think adding formula and rice cereal to his diet have helped with that a bit.

For Grayson, the last few days have consisted of his new favorite toy, the Jumperoo, rice cereal, and lots of practice sitting and rolling over. For Michael and I, we enjoyed family time, discovering a delectable Cuban/Caribbean restaurant, haircuts, and a lovely Sunday drive out to Lake Thunderbird. I also bent to peer pressure and finally set up a Facebook page. Not sure why it's taken me so long, but now my friends can stop hounding me about it.

Roxy also had a nice weekend napping around the house, fetching her ball, and discovering that Grayson is yet another person that has arms and hands to pet her.

Here are a few pictures of our recent activities.

The big boy sitting all by himself (for a moment)
Roxy generating some static from rubbing along the sofa
Not sure why this cracks me up so much
Grayson's first bite of rice cereal
Feeding #2: not so sure about this stuff
Day 3: Forget the milk mustache...give me a cereal goatee
All tuckered out after a long weekend

Here's a video from Day 2 of the rice cereal experiment. This time daddy got in on the action, but Grayson wasn't so sure if he liked this new goop or not.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Progress Report

I don't want to jinx it, but we made a little headway in the sleep department last night. 

Michael set up the pack-n-play in our bedroom and we gave it a whirl. It's a little cushier than Grayson's crib mattress, but not as soft as our bed, so I thought it might buy us some shut-eye since he seems to enjoy sleeping in our bed (with or without us). 

I rocked him until he was pretty much asleep, but then laid him down and he immediately opened his eyes and started smiling and laughing. Guess he was "playing opossum" as my mom would say. 

I tried patting him for a while to see if sleep would come again, but he was wide awake so I left him to explore his surroundings for a while. He finally fell asleep a little after 10 p.m. and I was able to tuck his left arm tight against his body and keep his right arm out again like the night before. 

He slept until 1:30 a.m. and had a very wet diaper so I changed him and began patting him some more. He was up off and on until 3 a.m. and then slept until 6 a.m. When he woke up at 6 a.m. I brought him in the bed with us and he slept until 7 a.m.! 

The more I've researched sleep techniques, the more I'm finding that it's common to have unexplainable sleep problems arise around 4 months. That combined with stopping the swaddling cold turkey really have the odds stacked against us, but I think we're finally making some headway. 

We'll find out tonight if this was a total fluke, but a glimmer of hope has been restored so I'm semi-rested and ready to continue this battle.Thanks to all of you for your calls of encouragement, prayers, posts and pretending you don't see the dark circles under our eyes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Babe in (non)swaddling clothes

I was going to wait and post on this until we were through the other side, but I'm beginning to think we may never get there, so here it goes.

This story starts with a swaddle blanket. Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, Grayson LOVES to be swaddled to sleep at night. It helps his arms not jerk and wake himself up because of babies' falling reflex. This miracle blanket has brought us many hours of sleep for the last four months.

Things changed last Saturday night when I went in to check on Grayson and he was facing the opposite direction than how I had laid him down in the crib. He was crying and kicking yet still swaddled so his arms were immobile by his side. I got scared thinking that he could roll over and not be able to roll back due to the swaddle blanket, so we decided to stop swaddling him (cold turkey) on Sunday night (right before returning to work might I add).

Night #1
Sunday night we went through our normal bedtime routine, except that I didn't put Grayson in his swaddle blanket. To make up for it, I rocked him a little longer than usual in hopes that he would get into a good, deep sleep. That worked for about two hours and then he woke up every hour (almost on the hour) from 11:30 p.m. through the rest of the night.

We're trying to let him "cry it out" when he wakes up at night, but I had to find a balance between letting him cry and comforting him enough so he wouldn't cry all night (literally). It was a very, very long night to say the least.

Night #2
Monday night Michael and I were sleep deprived, yet determined and refused to go back to swaddling without a fight. I rocked Grayson in our usual routine and even patted him a while once he was in his crib. Again, this lasted about two hours until 11:30 p.m. and then he was screaming his head off. We waited to let him cry it out a little, but he was starting to go hoarse so I experimented to see if he would roll onto his stomach and go back to sleep. That worked for a while, but I was a nervous wreck thinking he might stop breathing so I couldn't go back to sleep. He slept soundly until about 2:30 a.m. and then was up on and off again until 6:30 a.m., but it was a little better than night #1.

Night #3
By Tuesday night, Michael and I were past the point of sleep deprivation and crankiness ensued. Not on Grayson's part, but on ours. We went through our normal routine and even downloaded a new white noise CD in hopes it would help. Once Grayson was in his crib, I also managed to tuck his left arm in tight with the blanket which seemed to help him sleep longer (but he could get out of it if he rolled around). We got a good four hour stretch of sleep before the crying fits began at 1:30 a.m. He had a very wet diaper so I changed that which bought us another two hours. At 3:30 a.m. we were back to square one so I rolled him onto his stomach again and that got us through to 5:30 a.m. Again, this was a little progress but still miserable.

At this point, I'm desperate for the nights of sleep we used to get, but then my stubborn streak kicks in and I refuse to give up when we're already three nights into this process.

The crazy part is that once Grayson wakes up to feed (around 6-6:30 a.m.) we then keep him in the bed with us as we get ready for work. He sleeps soundly with both arms out above his head without fail. I'm thinking this may be because our mattress is softer than the one in his crib, so I may try putting him to sleep in the pack-and-play for a few nights instead of his crib. That mattress seems a little softer without being a safety hazard.

Michael and I are willing to try anything right about now, so feel free to throw out suggestions. I do want to avoid other sleep bag products out there that we'll eventually have to ween him from again. So, please say a little prayer for us before you go to sleep tonight. I have a feeling it's going to take a miracle to get through the rest of this process.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings

Today, Grayson had his first day at his new school. Michael and I dropped him off together to get him settled in and so many little things added up to make us feel welcomed.

For example, they already had his crib and cubby labeled with cute bear cut outs and fun letters, and the director and teachers knew all our names. Above Grayson's designated crib was a green animal mobile. We laid him down and turned it on which resulted in immediate leg kicking and "talking."

The walls of the hallways and nursery are painted in jungle-like murals, and Grayson loved taking it all in.

I called to check in about 1:30 and he was being fed (right on schedule) and had several great naps which told me he's feeling comfortable there (or was exhausted after last night which is an entirely separate post for later in the week).

When we picked him up this evening, we got a full report from his teacher which was detailed and informative. I checked in his cubby to take home any dirty bibs or bottles, but they already had everything washed and ready for the next day. Ahh, such mommy bliss. Who knew I would ever be so excited to not have to come home and wash bottles?

Fingers crossed that the rest of the week goes so well. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Four Month Check Up

We just returned home from the pediatrician's office. It wasn't as traumatic as last time because I was prepared with a bottle and Tylenol to deal with the vaccinations. He received the second round of the same immunizations so it was one by mouth and three shots in the thighs. 

On a happier note, Grayson weighed in at 13 lbs. 11.2 oz. and 25 1/4 inches in length. He's growing so quickly that I can hardly keep his dresser drawer stocked with clothes that fit. He's also about to outgrow his Level 1 diapers which are for 8-14 lbs. They seemed so big just a little while ago. 

We're also going to start him on rice cereal today. I'll post about that later if there's anything exciting that comes of it. Even though this is a first, bland step to beginning solids, I'm a little anxious about it since Michael suffers from a food allergy to poultry. We won't be starting pureed meats for another several  months, but it still makes me nervous thinking about giving our baby something that will result in an ER visit. 

I talked through all of this with our doctor which made me feel better. In the end it's all trial and error so I guess we just have to be mindful and move forward.

That's the latest from here. My little man is starting to stir from his nap so I should probably sign off for now. Hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

After a whirlwind week, Michael, Grayson, Roxy & I are starting to return to our normal routine. We've had lots and LOTS of company and it's been so fun showing off our son and celebrating with family and friends.

On top of this being New Year's Day, it's also Grayson's four month birthday. Man how times flies! Tomorrow marks a regular check up with the pediatrician and more vaccination shots, but today we're celebrating this milestone as a family.

His latest developments include screeching like a dinosaur, almost rolling over all the way, great head control and constantly sucking on his fingers (or ours). He has also learned to pull out his pacifier, but only manages to put it back in the right way about 1 in 10 tries.

Here are a couple of recent videos that capture these accomplishments. Roxy makes a cameo in one of them sporting a new haircut.

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