Sunday, October 30, 2011

Urgent. Please read.

Tyler, the little one living with leukemia, who I talked about in this post, needs your prayers, thoughts, "whatever you can do"'s. His body is failing and the doctor's aren't sure that he'll make it much longer. His family is having to make some difficult decisions right now...all while hoping for a miracle. I know that my followers are few...but with your thoughts/prayers and perhaps a repost on your own blogs---we can get enough people focused on Tyler to either ease his journey or create the miracle his mother so dearly is hoping for.
Tyler's Story/Updates
Thank you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I suppose being selfish is normal....

There are a lot of things going on around me that make realize how selfish I am. Not in the "you're so selfish, you rotton person you" sense that seems to always crop up when you're in a big fight with someone. But--more in the "not appreciating what you have/been given/worked for" sense.

There are two moms in my March Mommies online group that have babies that are very very sick. One has spent a majority of their life in the hospital with cancer and another is a 2yo who just had a bone marrow transplant for leukemia and his parents learned this week than soon they may have to make a choice about whether to resuscitate him or not.  They are living soul-crushing, life-altering existences right now.  They may lose their babies.

Conversely, my world is focused on the seemingly important tasks of LM's sleeping/eating habits, keeping my head above water at work and still maintaining some front of being a good wife/housekeeper.

But--compared to the worries of others...these are so selfish. Does it really matter why LM sleeps some nights and not others? Does it matter that TH continues to be less than impressed by my attempts at culinary creations? Does it matter whether LM is meeting developmental milestones or even what the heck is causing his eczema?

No. My baby is healthy. My marriage is healthy. I have a job I am not worried about losing.

It's so hard to maintain the right mindset sometimes. I cannot fathom waking everyday knowing that today I might watch my baby die. But, even knowing this, I continue to worry about my "things". I tell myself to keep it all in perspective. And I understand that these are "normal" mom things to worry about...and moms all over the world are worrying about the same things. However, deep down, they are selfish things to worry about because in the end, I will still have a thriving baby. He might be cranky, stay up all night and never roll back to front...but he'll be here and he's all mine.

My much younger cousin gave birth two weeks ago to a little boy. She's fairly estranged from most of my family due to her antics, addictions and general disregard for my aunt's heart, love and well-being. She has nearly broken up their marriage and caused my aunt numerous health problems. In the last year (at various times), she's been homeless, shacked up with random guys, in/out of the hospital from street fights and yet other times, manages to show up to her minimum wage job. She's bi-polar amongst other things and basically lacks the impulse control that stops most normal people from agreeing to any random thing. She's totally a fit parent (please note the dripping sarcasm). She gave birth and seemed to be ok. Yet--we find out this weekend that the baby had to be rushed from an ER to a children's hospital when he was foaming at the mouth and had blue feet. No one knows why yet.

Again, a baby that is struggling in life and was born into a "home" that is going to contain so many obstacles to growing up healthy--emotionally and physically. I get that I'm lucky to be able to maintain my mental health and provide my baby with a safe, caring home. There are so many people out there that are still yearning for their baby, while so many people don't care for their baby the right way. I should feel blessed with my life.

But that doesn't stop me from complaining about heading back to work tomorrow after a nice long fall break. It doesn't stop me from thinking cranky thoughts that TH never, never, never offers to clean the bottles...even once. I still think these selfish thoughts and say selfish things. Somehow, someway, there is a way in which to strike a balance between be honest about my life/feelings and keeping myself in check when it comes to realizing I'm SO lucky. I'm going to work harder at finding out how to do this. I think it will help me appreciate my life more, love LM and TH more and in general, be a better person.

But's easy to be selfish...but I guess that's normal.

**If you'd like to read more about the journey's of the other babies I mentioned, you can do it here and here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Your thoughts please!

I'm trying to decide what post to submit for Mel's Creme de la Creme. For those of you who don't know what it is, basically it's a celebration of blogs where bloggers share their favorite/most memorable/touching/important for others to read etc post, Mel compiles them and come January there is a wonderful list of blogs/posts etc to read and journey with---read more details at the link above.

Anyway...seeing as I'm not the best decision maker (wait!! what!!?? you're not??), I'd love input from my readers about which post they would choose for me---something that touched you or made you laugh...or that you just like. I would really appreciate it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


That sound, my dear bloggy friends, was the other shoe dropping.

I've been waiting all week for it to happen and last night it did.

For some reason, LM seemed to be all big kid grown-up baby last week and from Monday THRU Friday night, he slept through the night. Oh yes....let's pause and read that closely----he slept all night long for five nights in a row. Monday thru Thursday was 8/830-6am and Friday night he went down around 830 and got up at 9am (super sleeping-in baby!). It is more sleep than I've had at night (consistently) since probably January. I feel a little bit more human!

Every night I went to bed telling myself that he was going to wake up and not to expect a full night's sleep. I'd think about some variable in his day that was "off" and I wouldn't let myself get my hopes up. But--every night, I woke to my alarm instead of LM. I was starting to get freaked out :-)

But, last night, the other shoe dropped. Right on schedule (around 4), LM was up and unhappy. A quick snuggle and 4oz of formula later, he was down again (only to wake up at 630 wide awake with soaking wet pjs--but that's another story).

I, being crazy, immediately began analyzing what differences occurred yesterday that probably came into play. My guess---it was sleeping in 3 extra hours, taking naps in the car (granted they were 2 and 1 hour respectively) and not getting in all of his normal solids amount.

I'm superstitious and I totally attribute him STTN all week to the fact that all week at daycare he napped really really well, had all of his bottles and his jar of solids a day. That let me get his dinner and bedtime bottle fed to him in good time and not too close together. And it worked.

Well, that doesn't work on the weekend. Even though he did get most of his formula in (he left about 3oz in his bedtime bottle--which he did one night last week too so it shouldn't be that big of a deal) and did take naps, he only had maybe 1/2 of a jar of food. I don't know if that really has to do anything with it--it could totally be in my head. OR, if it's just the fact that he's at home and with us. I wish I knew. I don't though.

What I do know now is that he is capable of STTN for multiple nights in a row. When he slept for 13hours Friday night, it taught me that assuming I feel like he got enough food in during the day, he really probably doesn't even need the full 4oz when he wakes up. I *think* that over our fall vacation coming up this week, we may drop down to 2 or just snuggles.

I know now that he can do it and what I need to figure out is what really makes the biggest difference. Are we at the point where we need to focus our efforts on sleep training (and by that, I mean teaching him to go back to sleep when he wakes instead of thinking he HAS to eat)? Or do I need to figure out if I should focus on making sure he definitely gets enough solids during the weekend? Maybe I should have given him some baby food at dinnertime instead of going straight for the bottle. I suppose I could've offered if after the baby food and let him take what he wanted.

I wish it was easier to know what affects things. I wish it were as simple as knowing it was teething or a cold that wakes him up. Or whether he was really hungry when he wakes up. There are so many certainly gives my OCD a workout.

But for now, I'm just going to savor my LM being a big boy and giving me some sleep this week--when I really really needed it to survive a bad work week.

That and try to figure out how to get him to do it again!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some people are just better people than me.

I'm not a mean or selfish person but man...sometimes the selflessness of others blows me away. There is a mom in my due date/birth month group that is doing something so amazing for another mom in the group that I had to share.

There is a little monkey in our group that has a lot of dietary sensitivities--including but not limited to:

He has had trouble gaining weight and his mom has been struggling. Since breastfeeding wasn't an option for them, she's been struggling to find a formula he wasn't allergic to--especially since so many have soy. She's tried everything...and I mean everything...including a homemade formula with a coconut milk base. His allergies were making life miserable for all.

Then---lo and behold, another mom from our group offered to help out. Not only is she pumping extra milk and shipping it across country....but to make her milk free of any allergens, she has totally removed anything with dairy, corn, wheat, soy etc. At the bottom is a list of some of things she has to avoid or look for on labels to avoid.

Anyway--she's avoided these things for three weeks and has pumped milk to send him. The first shipment just went into the mail yesterday! What an amazing selfless act to change your entire diet/lifestyle for someone else's baby.....a baby she's never met and a mom she's never met.

I've been stalking the tracking number all day!


Some people are just better people than me.

Things that this amazing woman has eliminated:

Milk-free diet:

Avoid foods that contain milk or any of these ingredients

Artificial butter flavor
Butter, butter fat, butter oil
Casein (Casein hydrolysate)
Caseinates (in all forms)
Cottage Cheese
Half & Half
Lactalbumin, Lactalbumin phosphate
Milk (in all forms including condensed, derivaitive, dry, evaporated, goat's milk and milk from other animals, low-fat, malted, milkfat, non-fat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
Rennet Casein
Sour Cream, Sour cream solids
Sour milk solids
Whey (in all forms)

May indicate the presence of milk protein:

Caramel Candies
Flavorings (natural & artificial)
High protein flour
Lactic acid starter culture
Luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages
Non-dairy products

Wheat-free diet:

Avoid foods that contain wheat or any of these ingredients

Bread Crumbs
Club Wheat
Cracker Meal
Flour (all purpose, bread, cake, durum, enriched, graham, high gluten, high protein, instant, pastry, self-rising, soft wheat, steel ground, stone ground, whole wheat)
Matzoh, matzoh meal (also spelled as matzo)
Vital Gluten
Wheat (bran, germ, gluten, malt, sprouts)
Wheat Grass
Whole Wheat Berries

May indicate the presence of wheat protein:

Flavoring (natural & artificial)
Hydrolyzed Protein
Soy Sauce
Starch (gelatinized starch, modified starch, modified food starch, vegetable starch, wheat starch)

Soy-free diet

Avoid all foods that contain soy or any of these ingredients:

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Shoyu Sauce
Soy (Soy albumin, Soy fiber, Soy flour, Soy grits, Soy Lecithin, Soy Milk, Soy Nuts, Soy Oils, Soy Sprouts)
Soybean (curd, granules)
Soy Protein (concentrate, isolate)
Soy sauce
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

May indicate the presence of soy protein:

Asian Cuisine
Flavoring (natural & artificial)
Vegetable Broth
Vegetable Gum
Vegetable Oil
Vegetable Starch

Corn-Free Diet:

Avoid all foods that contain corn or any of these ingredients:

Baking powder (barb said this was ok to use in baking the amount that would make it to ur breastmilk shouldn't affect him)
Corn alcohol
Corn flour
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup solids

May indicate the presence of corn protein:

Food starch
Modified food starch
Vegetable gum
Vegetable starch

Umm....yeah....that's a heck-load of things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Super Seven!! (well...belated!)

LM is seven months old now!! Well...he was last Wednesday. But, I'm a bad blogger who is buried in baby stuff, report cards and upcoming parent/teacher conferences. So, a week late will have to do :-)

LM is a ball of energy! He laughs and laughs---full on belly laughs (especially if the dog is doing something "funny"), tickle giggles and this weird little old man "heh heh" squeak thing. People and actions make him laugh, as well as being super ticklish but more than anything, his orange dinosaur and yellow duck crack him up the most. He loves to lay on the ground and laugh and chew on them!

He still loves all of his toys---especially his jumparoo. He has figured out how to stretch and grab at the animals on his swing mobile and is fixated on trying to pull the little toucan off of the top of his bouncy chair. He still loves laying on his playmat and playing with toys--especially since his hand/eye coordination is so much better and he can grab at whatever he wants.

He ADORES books and gets SO excited to see them--kicking and wiggling. Books have been slipping out of our bedtime routine a little bit as he's taken to falling asleep during his last bottle (which usually he "requests" loudly in a 0 to 60 manner that has been leaving little time for pre-bottle reading). But--my goal is to get it back in.

He takes 4 six ounce bottles a day and one 8 ounce bottle of formula before bed. We're working on weaning him down from his night feedings so right now he only gets a 4 ounce bottle if he wakes up. The amount difference doesn't seem to be impacting him falling back asleep (and staying asleep) so I think we're on the right track! He eats 2oz of baby food in the morning and another 2oz in the afternoon. Sometimes he'll eat more around dinner time--but usually only if he dropped a bottle feed that day because of a long nap etc. He loves fruits and veggies equally but is really getting excited about eating things in his mesh feeder--bananas, peaches etc.

He (usually) goes down for bed by 8(ish) and wakes up one time between 1-4am. On weekdays I get him up around six but on the weekends he usually stays down until between 7-8. He takes two naps a day for around 1.5 hours each--sometimes mercifully longer, sometimes they are excruciatingly short. he is on a good schedule with daycare and we usually mess it up on the weekends :-) Occasionally, he sleeps through the night.....occasionally. Here's hoping that improves!

He rolls belly to back easily. He can sit up with assistance, though the last few days he can maintain his balance for a few minutes if a) he thinks someone is behind him "holding him up" and b) he isn't reaching to the side for anything. He loves to sit up and watch the dog play fetch. He's tried to pull his knees up to a crawling position a couple times but really has no interest in it yet. He has yet to roll back to belly---though, he's so close!!! He's just got to haul that chunky leg over!

He's so content and happy! He only fusses or cries when he's hungry, tired or (only sometimes) bored. He is still my big snuggler and loves to steal a weekend nap laying on me. He can play by himself for 15+ minutes if he's interested in what is going on. LM is big big big on routines and gets really excited when he knows what is coming up....this may become something that bites us in the you know what later on!

LM is becoming a Daddy's boy :-/ He lights up at the side of TH and gets so excited to play with him. They have a great time together and I feel full of joy when I realize what a great Dad he is. I'm very lucky...but I do have to chant this to myself over and over sometimes when TH is on my last nerve!

We're enjoying life right now. I can't believe how much he's changed since he turned six months. I feel like every new day brings a new discovery, development or sometimes...a challenge. I love watching him think...seeing his eyes narrow as he works hard at something and watching his eyes light up when he figures something out. I love that he studies his hands moving like he's on some weird acid trip :-) His newest trick is using his hand against his mouth to make the Indian sound (you know the one!) and I love that he's discovered he can do it with toys and other objects.

I can't imagine what I'll be saying by next month!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ugh. Manic Monday.

After the first couple weeks of daycare (beg of Aug) LM settled into a good schedule of napping and eating at daycare. But, last week, we decided we were ready to have her start giving some solids during the day (previously we've only been giving him some at "dinnertime"). Well---all heck has broken loose and he either stopped taking his afternoon nap or would be up/down/up/down etc resulting in basically no nap. He also (near the end of the week) started not finishing all of the ounces of his lunchtime bottles. When he was at home in the evenings, we ended up dropping the dinner solids because he was more restless at night (having trouble going back down, not wanting to go to sleep in the first place, not wanting his last bottle etc) and I was worried he was too full. The weekend came and he took am/pm naps (though the pm were about an hour max) both days. He had two meals of solids a day (breakfast/dinner one day, lunch/dinner another) and most of his bottles (his wakeup time was later so he usually dropped a bottle in the morning).

Today, I mentioned to our daycare lady (in-home daycare place) that maybe waiting until after his pm nap for the second solids feedings would help him nap better and to just give him his normal lunchtime bottle instead. Apparently though, he didn't nap at all. He ate his breakfast bottle and half a jar of baby food (right on track) and his lunchtime bottle but refused to nap, take his late afternoon bottle (so she didn't attempt the solids) etc. TH said she seemed really frustrated (even complaining that she really relies on that hour break in the afternoon for WHAT?) and thinks that I should stop feeding him at night when he wakes up (just do water instead) because maybe he's too full to sleep well at night and then it's affecting his day. I already stopped feeding him when he wakes up (30min before we get to daycare) because he's been waking up for a bottle (4-6oz of formula) between 1-3 and sleeping until I get him up at six...that way he's ready to eat baby food right when he gets there.

I don't want her to be frustrated with him...because I don't want her to let him CIO as a result of her frustrations and trying to get him nap. I have NO clue why he's stopped napping. I'm sure it has something to do with the food--the timing is too coincidental. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong at night still feeding him a bottle....maybe we do need to wean off of it (he weighs about 20lbs etc).....I just don't know what to do. I'm a mess about it. I'm sure that there are other factors that might be in play too (teething, routine change etc). It also doesn't help that when he skips naps, he falls asleep in the car on the way home and naps for awhile at home...being awake later in the evening. And--now, because he skipped a bottle today...we're behind on calories/feeds and that doesn't bode well for sleep.

I just need help. I don't know what to try next....or what to say to her. I'm up for trying pretty much anything...whether it be during the day changes or night changes.... But, I also don't want to make changes because of her....I want him to be happy/healthy etc...that's first. I guess I just don't know what to do......and the anxiety about taking him tomorrow is already getting to me.

Here's what his "normal" schedule looks like in case that helps:
Bedtime around 8pm
Up for a nighttime feed (4-6oz of formula) between 1-3am
Woken up at 615 (diaper change, snuggles and out the door)
Breakfast (1/2 jar of solids) around 645-7.
Bottle (6oz formula) around 830.
AM nap--usually down around 9-930ish, asleep for 1.5-2 hours
1130/1200ish--was getting 1/2 jar solids with another bottle about an hour later (no solids today, just bottle at 1130/12)
1(ish)-245 PM nap (did not really occur last week or today)
Picked up around 345
Dinner bottle 530-6 (we used to do 1/2 jar solids around 430/5 and then the bottle around 530-6)
Bedtime bottle 8

This is really just a big long vent....I understand if you don't actually have a solution for me :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My baby is a genius...

at least he better be.

I am a smart person...or I was anyway. This isn't me bragging--it's just who I am. I'm a dork and a bit of a nerd. I got upset with A-'s in school. I was disappointed with only getting a magna laude distinction on my undergrad degree and I worked my then much-smaller butt off in grad school to get a 4.0.

I'm not coordinated or good at sports. I'm not artistic or more than average talented at music (I play a couple instruments so-so). My brains are my "thing" and it's what I got going for me.

Or at least it was....until a small, adorable little monkey stole them from me. By my total lack of common sense lately, in combination with the memory loss and inability to retain the bizarre facts and trivia I used to be so fluent at, I can only assume that he stole most of my brain and will in fact become the smartest person in the world. Judging by my Words With Friends scores recently, he seems to be getting smarter by the minute. I suppose I don't mind having "mommy brain"--though it is complicating my work life, as sticky note reminders for each and every little thing cover my desk, room and sometimes person.

But, all I'm saying is that he better put his brains (both his own and what he stole from me) to good use and cure the common cold or something....or at least figure out how to roll himself from back to belly :-)