Monday, May 30, 2011

5 Months Old

Baby: What a little stinker! Well, not all days. Yesterday his poop smelled like cookie dough, no joke. He is working so hard on rolling over. He's done it once from his back and once from his stomach, a few days ago. Not a mastered skill yet, but we're getting there. He is smiling and talking all the time. When he gets hungry, he doesn't cry as much as he shouts. He wants that bottle now, dangit! His sleeping patterns are still crazy, but a couple nights a week, he'll do really good and only wake up 1-2 times for food. The rest of the nights are still rough, but we are seeing slight improvement. He loves his jumper for about 15 minutes at a time. Rattles have become my best friend to calm him down. He will be getting his helmet in a couple weeks, so that will be funny to see I'm sure. He has eaten sweet carrots a couple of times and it is the cutest thing. I still mostly feed him boob juice though. He is a big boy. Everyone is surprised when I tell them he is 5 months old. See the stats for yourself!

Head - 16 1/2" (20th %)
Weight - 18 lbs (80th %)
Height - 26" (50th %)

Parents: We have been a little stressed to say the least. Papa is working his tail off to make sure we are taken care of. His normal work hours are 11am-8pm, but all the time that he's home is spent working on other projects. Literally. He gets up early and stays up late to work from home. He is a dedicated man. And he is counting down until this year is OVER and all the procedures and surgeries are done for a little while. Hopefully it will help us feel more settled and relaxed. He also wants to spend more time with his baby! It's hard for him, I know. I can tell you this, we are both ready for a vacation. Nothing major, just a little time away.

Mommy's Thoughts: This week it hit me how different life has become. It's not a bad thing, it's just different. I sometimes have to take a little time to mourn the loss of my old life and being able to do whatever I darn well pleased. I can't go to a Conan taping when a friend has tickets. I can't go to happy hour at Bouchon with a baby. It takes a LOT of rearranging to make certain little things work. Everything is about him. He dictates where I can and can't go. Sometimes I don't like that. But its true what they say, he gives you a little smile or does something to make you proud and all of a sudden it's ALL WORTH IT. The way you look at life is totally different with this little bug depending on you. So I miss out on some fun things, but I have different kinds of fun things happening around me every day. Like I said, what a little stinker.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surgery Date Set

Today we had our consultation with the amazing and brilliant and wonderful Dr. Wells, who performed the baby's first heart surgery, and basically saved his life - not only from the heart condition, but also during the complications in surgery. He acted quickly and seeing him today reminded me how grateful I am for him. He remembered little Stevie right away because he gave them such a scare. The doc said his heart dropped after surgery when the little guy kept going into cardiac arrest. He reiterated how dang lucky we are that he is here today!!

So we are set to go at the end of September. We initially thought we'd be going in June/July, but there are a couple benefits to waiting, basically just letting the munchkin get that much bigger and stronger. Just as a refresher, this surgery will be to repair the hole in his heart and put a new pulmonary valve in place. It won't be his last surgery, but they are expecting the new parts to last until he's 3-5 years old. There are a few things we will need to do between now and then, but I am honestly a little relieved to put it off for a couple more months. The first thing huz & I did was look at each other and say "OK, now we can take a little vacation this summer!" It will be so nice to spend some time as a family and get out of town for a few days and unwind before the big event. I'm thinking somewhere with a killer pool...

Anyway, the appointment went well and the surgeon had nothing but positive things to say. They've done this surgery thousands of times and don't anticipate any problems, especially with how well Stephen is doing.

To infinity and beyond!

I don't know, it just seemed fitting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornado Watch

What a weekend we had. It started out all fun and games with a photo shoot, dinner with friends, a great day at the CA Strawberry festival... and ended in a way I never expected.

Of course, you have seen the news. Joplin, Missouri was hit by the deadliest tornado in US History. At least since they started tracking tornadoes 60 years ago. Normally I would see this, watch the news for a moment, say a quick prayer for the people in trouble, make a little donation, and move on with my day. But I have been obsessed with this particular tornado. I haven't turned off CNN since I heard about it on Sunday night. The only thing that could pull me away from the Real Housewives was my own version of Tornado Watch 2011.

You see, a lot of my family live in Southern Missouri. They live about 20 minutes from Joplin but they go there several times a week, as that is the town closest to them with all the stores and restaurants. When my husband and I went to visit, we stayed in Joplin to be close to everything. And now the town is gone. It is demolished.

Thank the good Lord that my family is all safe and accounted for. But with more storms headed their way tonight, it leaves an eerie feeling inside.

The person most affected directly by the tornado was probably my dad. He was in Joplin at the time preparing for a church meeting. When they heard the tornado overhead, he and 7 other people hid in a bathroom. The church literally got torn to shreds around them. They saw the roof get ripped off and it started raining on them. His van was crushed by the falling building. He was hit in the head with some bricks. And I find it a bit of a miracle that all 8 people walked away with only minor injuries. {Insert huge sigh of relief here.} His story made ABC4 News out of Salt Lake. These are a couple pics from his cell phone:

My brother also lives in the area, quite a bit closer to the damaged parts of town. After ducking the storm in a grocery store, he drove around looking for people and trying to help. He even came upon a fallen tree in the middle of the road, pulled a SAW out of his car and started to chop it up. Other people saw this, joined in and they had the tree cleared in no time. I couldn't get over the fact that he even had a saw with him in his car. He's kind of a bad ass that way. I love that about him.

Now comes the really interesting (and even a little cheesy) part for me. My thoughts have been very consuming during all of this. To put it plainly, my dad and I don't have the best relationship. In fact, I don't think we've even spoken, besides text messages, in about 2 years. I know its totally cliché to wait for a tragedy like this to start thinking about how short life is and how much time is wasted, but that's what I've been doing.

The last couple of years I've put a lot of thought into our relationship and for a long time, I was fine with leaving it as it was. I feel like I tried really hard for a lot of years to make him care and I had all but given up. I was sick of being the one who made the effort all the time. I even had a heart to heart with him and told him I wanted our relationship to get better, and it actually got worse. So I had accepted that, and I was willing to be as stubborn as he was. If he wasn't going to call, then neither was I. And that was that. Besides, now I had my own family and responsibilities to worry about.

But thinking that he could have died the other day really changed my perspective. If he had gone and I was left with the guilt of giving up on him, I don't think I could have lived with myself. So regardless of his attitude about our relationship and how few times a year he contacts me, and how many broken promises there are - I'm going to make an effort. It's not easy for me, and even now, my resistant side is coming out saying, "Well HE needs to do something". And to be honest, there is only so much I'm willing to do at this point and I am still angry with him. But I have to let some of that go, because I can't control what he does. I can only control myself and my reaction to him.

I also want to be a better sister, daughter, cousin, friend, etc. My family lives very far away and we always use that and how busy our lives are as an excuse to why we may not keep in very good contact. But if something happened today or tomorrow or 10 years from now, I want to know that I made the best effort possible and that all these people know I love them.

So that's my revelation during all of this. I just hope I'm not the only one who saw the light.

As a side note, please take the time to make a donation to help the victims in Joplin. The are estimating the damages in that small town to be about $3 billion (so far). Every little bit helps. See ways to help here:

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doc Band

"What?! You went over my helmet?!" - Dark Helmet (Spaceballs)

With all the helmet talk today, I can't help but think of Rick Moranis.

Anyway, yes. The little guy had a consultation today to see whether or not he will need a helmet (called a Doc-Band) to correct his crooked little adorable head. It's called Plagiocephaly. They did a photo study and then had a therapist analyze him. As you can see in the pictures below, the left side of his head has a little bulge, while the right side is rather flat.

Click photo for company website and more info on the condition

It is causing a slight misalignment of the ears, and in the future could cause some jaw or vision problems. His case is considered Moderate - not mild, but definitely not severe. The Doc-Band is not a total necessity. The therapist gave us the pros and cons and now we have to decide what we want to do. We are going to see if insurance will cover any part of it (the helmets run over $2000 typically), but right now we are thinking it would be beneficial
, just to avoid any future problems.

The good thing at this stage of the game is, he is young and will most likely only need to wear it for 2-3 months. So by the time he's 9 months old, he'd be done with it. Also, they don't think it will get much worse. As long as I keep repositioning him and continuing tummy time, there won't be a huge change. The tough part is his appointments would be every single week. It's only about a 25 minute drive (traffic-free) but its definitely a commitment. And with his upcoming surgery, we'd have to wait until he's out of the hospital and healthy enough to do that. We also didn't want to make a big deal out of it if it was purely for cosmetic reasons, but I think there's enough evidence to support the fact that there could be other repercussions. So we will proceed in due time, after some more discussion and weighing the pros and cons.

Oh, little bugger with all those chins!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mommy Faux Pas #3

How do we go away for one night and I take 6+ outfits for the baby and forget pajamas & clean underwear for myself?? Nothing a quick trip to WalMart didn't fix, but still.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rice Cereal, Shmice Cereal

So as many people know, our baby doesn't sleep. He has started taking regular 1/2 hour naps during the day which is FANTASTIC but nights are still a struggle. He wakes up every 1-2 hours and after 4 months of this, I'm just plain exhausted. I don't expect him to sleep 8 hours or anything, but 4-5 would be nice!

My mom-in-law has suggested over and over that he take rice cereal to keep him full through the night, but I knew he wasn't quite old enough - until now. He's reached the 4 month mark and he weighs enough and he loves to watch me eat, so I talked to the pediatrician and she gave the go-ahead.

You have no idea how excited this made me. I put all my hopes and dreams of a better night's sleep on rice cereal. Rice cereal was going to solve this problem, I just knew it.

So the first couple nights, I spoon-fed him very little just to get him used to it. He seemed indifferent, so when I got desperate for some rest, we went ahead and put some in the bottle before bedtime. I don't think you're really supposed to do that, but I was willing to try anything at this point.

He slept one extra hour.

And now he's super constipated.

Not worth rushing into. Dangit.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April Wrap-up

April was kind of a great month. Stephen has become more fun and interactive and we're able to actually leave the house without a meltdown. It really makes me happy. Not only are his doctor appointments and trips to the grocery store a million times easier, but we could throw in a few fun things here and there too.

My sister came to visit for a quick weekend trip to take her son to see Thomas the Tank Engine in Fillmore. For those of you who have Thomas fans, you know this is kind of a big deal. The baby and I went with her and some had more fun than others - but all in all it was a lovely day. I had a great time with my sis, just being outside and hanging out. She is great. Wish she could've stayed longer.

The huz had a High School Marching Band Reunion. Yes, he was a band geek. But most of those band geeks have become my closest friends and the reunion was a great excuse for all of us to get dressed up and enjoy a night out. My husband also took the time to make a video with old band footage and pictures for everyone to watch. He did such a great job and of course it was a hit. I didn't even go to High School with these people, but sometimes I feel like I did.

April is also the month of my husband's birthday. We didn't do anything major, but I ordered him breakfast to be delivered (I couldn't muster up the energy to cook!) and then we went out that night with our friends to Gordon Biersch. Oh, I did make red velvet cupcakes though, and they were delicious if I do say so myself. I'm pretty sure he had a good day.

We took our first overnight trip with Stevie for Easter weekend. I was a little anxious to see how he would be in the car for the 3 hour trek to San Diego, but he slept the whole time! It was so awesome. We spent Saturday evening with some of hubby's cousins and it was so fun. It was the first time I've been to their house where there weren't like 25 people there, so it was quiet and relaxing (and of course Stephen charmed the pants off everyone). On Easter Sunday we made our way to see the other side of his family in Dana Point and that was fun too. I was a little on the tired side from lack of sleep in the hotel, so I got a little overwhelmed with all the people giving me "Mommy Advice", but I guess that's just part of what happens when you're a new mom. I have to remember it's all out of love. The food was great and the baby was great, so I'd say the whole weekend was a smashing success. Can't wait to do another overnight trip! I'm way ready for a real vacation...