Posts tagged Elimination Communication

12 Weeks Old (really!?!?)

Reid is big. But his brother was bigger–much bigger. I’m estimating that Reid is nearing 15 lbs, but Daniel was about 18 lbs by this age. My back aches all day long holding Reid. I often question how I did it with Daniel. I held Daniel so much more often than I’m able to hold Reid, but I don’t recall having such an achy back. I could blame it on getting older, but three years shouldn’t make that much of a difference. My neck did hurt a lot more with Daniel–maybe my posture is just different this time and baby’s weight is therefore affecting me differently. Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to being able to a) carry Reid on my back in addition to on my front,  and b) being able to put Reid down for longer periods of time while he learns to play with toys and sit and crawl, etc.

It seems like Reid is much freer with his emotions in general than Daniel was. He smiles more–he’s been laughing for weeks already. Daniel had only just started to laugh by this age. He cries more–though he’s started fussing more often instead of going straight to crying, which has been a huge relief. I have a feeling that Reid is going to be a very aware and observant child–and probably a very tactile one as well.

My brother Gabe came up from San Diego to stay with us for a few weeks. He wanted to get away from home for a while (he’s 17–you know how that goes!) and we thought it’d be fun to have him stay here with us. Daniel thought having tio here was absolutely the best thing ever. I tried my best to give Gabe some solo time, but it was very tough to make Daniel stay away from his beloved tio for very long. I was glad to have him here to help relieve me of the guilt I feel for not being able to pay as much attention to Daniel as he’s used to. Daniel has been more emotional since Reid was born, so I know he’s feeling affected by the shift, but luckily he’s been nothing but kind and gentle and loving toward baby Reid. There are definitely times when Daniel would prefer if Reid was elsewhere, but he’s never said anything negative about him or shown any contempt for him. Instead, Daniel wants to hold him, kiss him, calm him, watch over him, etc. I can’t wait for the two of them to really be able to interact.

Reid is still a champion sleeper. He only wakes a couple times/night and usually he wakes to be changed and fed and that’s it. And recently, he’s even managed to fall asleep on his own if I put him down in the bassinet we have set up in the living room, or in our bed at night. Tonight was actually the second night that Reid went to sleep without nursing. Of course, both this time and the time before (a few days ago) he’d already been asleep (by nursing), but had woken up when he realized I wasn’t there anymore. Tonight, he did this twice. After nursing him back to sleep the first time, the second time, I took him to pee (he peed with his eyes half open), put on a clean diaper and layed him down on the bed. I intended on nursing him back to sleep again, but he’d already gotten still and had started to close his eyes. So I just watched and waited, and lo and behold, he fell asleep. If I can get him to fall asleep on his own, I will be one happy mama.

Daniel spent the night with Dan’s parents last night, so Dan and I went out for dinner with Reid. It was really nice to be out and not talking about fire trucks or hot dogs. Reid was very quiet and fascinated by all the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. He fell asleep about 2/3 of the way through our dinner, too, so we were really able to feel like we were on a date (except that I had him wrapped up on my chest). We’re feeling like we’re going to need to establish a more regular date night pretty soon now that we have two munchkins keeping us busy. I think we’ll be able to do it semi-regularly by the time the first of the year rolls around.

Tonight, just before I started typing this blog, I heard Daniel laughing in his bedroom (it was 10:30 pm and he’d been in bed since 9). I went in to see what he was doing (he’d already gotten out of bed twice–once to try to find a specific pair of socks in the laundry pile and once to play with his trains). He was just laying in his bed cracking up at nothing apparent. When I asked him what was so funny, he could barely speak as he giggled something about a fork and a sink (I thought he said snake). Turns out he was recalling a Veggie Tales moment when either Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber (I’m not sure which) gets stuck in the sink and uses a fork as a catapult to get out. When I left his room, he told me he was going to dream about that.

I am going to dream about a nice Sunday tomorrow. And I’m going to do it as soon as I publish this blog. I am tired!

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7 Weeks Old

Oh how the time gets away from me.

We figured out at some point shortly after my last post, that Reid cannot stand to have a wet diaper. The good news is that we can now sooth him much more easily than we could before. The bad news is that we’re changing diapers (or taking him to pee) like maniacs. He pees in the sink/potty pretty often, and he poos there most of the time. EC is much easier the second time around–probably due to the fact that I started earlier and that I have much more confidence.

This morning, however, Reid pood his pants big time. The night before, he was very grumpy and couldn’t stay asleep for long without getting angry. I knew he had to poo because he always has to poo at night, and because he was gassy, gassy, gassy. But I held him over the sink and the potty numerous times–all to no avail. But just after he nursed first thing in the morning, he blasted it out. He pood so much! I realized with that poo how little he actually poos in his diaper. It took a lot of cleanup to get his little bottom area clean and it was a foreign experience. He’s pood in his diaper before, no doubt, but not usually a full poo. Usually, it’s just a bit, and I can get him to the potty before the major blast comes. Being an EC mom, it’s tough for me to imagine having to clean up poopy diapers every single day! Even when Reid poos in the little potty, all I have to do is spray it with the diaper sprayer and empty it in the toilet. But cleaning poo from all over his thighs and genitals, while keeping it from getting on the bed or myself (both of which I was unsuccessful at doing this morning) is much dirtier work.

Reid is very free with his smiles these days. He’s also been doing some pre-laughing. Several times now with Grampy, and a couple times with me, he’s squealed a little while we coo’d and ooh’d and aah’d with him. I’m really looking forward to Reid’s belly laughs. I don’t remember when that typically happens, but it has to be in the next month or so, I imagine.

Reid seems to sleep a lot–more than I remember Daniel sleeping. The problem is that during the day, his stretches of sleep are fairly short and sporadic–and he has a hard time being put down. This is changing, though. When I was dealing with sleep issues with Daniel, I read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and lamented that I hadn’t read it sooner in his life. Now with Reid, I’ve been applying some of the principles from the book already–specifically putting the baby down when he sleeps. I usually kept Daniel in-arms because I was exhausted and couldn’t imagine him waking after getting him to sleep, and because I just loved holding him. Now that Reid is learning to stay asleep when I put him down, I find myself feeling kind of sad and guilty that I’m not holding him as much as I’d like to. But because I need the time without him to focus on Daniel, or to pop a load into the washer, I don’t really have much of a choice.

We have been trying to continue going for walks at least once or twice/week. But the heat is beginning to be prohibitive–especially because Reid usually goes in the sling while Daniel rides his tricycle. Even on days that are simply warm, Reid and I end up covered with sweat. The heat is only supposed to intensify over the next couple months, so unless we decide to start waking much earlier, I think we may go on a summer hiatus from our walks.

I’m getting into the swing of life with two. More accurately, I’m getting into the swing of life with a newborn again. I am actually much more productive with two than I was with one. And I’m not feeling as lazy. Maybe it’s due to my unapologetically drinking a bit of coffee or tea every day. But mostly, I think it’s because there’s more to do. There’s just not as much time for sitting around, so I don’t even get to start. And typically, it’s the starting of sitting around that causes the prolonged sitting around.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten a fair amount of laundry done (the pile is actually shrinking!), I’ve managed to keep the kitchen mostly clean, I’ve assembled a new kitchen cabinet, we’ve had a dinner guest, and I’ve gotten out of the house at least once/day. While I didn’t create a full weekly schedule, I did start making a weekly to-do list. Some of which include cleaning the toilets on Fridays, doing at least 5 loads of laundry/week (not including diapers), and going grocery shopping on Mondays. I think I’ll start adding activities once these few become second nature. So far, these are easy. And just because I’m in the mindset of keeping things cleaner than I ever have before, I’ve been better at putting things away as I use them rather than just putting them down wherever it’s most convenient. I think the next items on my weekly to-do list will be vacuuming/mopping. I do these two things so rarely, they really need to be on the schedule if I ever want them to get done.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow–Friday. Aside from cleaning the toilets (which really only takes a few minutes), I don’t have anything I have to do. I plan to spend some extra time focusing on Daniel. He’s gotten the short end of the stick this week.

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10 Days Old

The poop has calmed down a bit. I have been calling Reid my little pooper and it is still fitting–but thankfully he’s not unloading every other second at night anymore. The EC is going well, too. I don’t know if he’s making any actual associations , but he poops quite often in the toilet or sink and pees fairly consistently there, too. He should start to associate our cue sound with the act of going in the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to that stage.

Tomorrow is Daniel’s 3rd birthday! Dan and I are taking him out for breakfast tomorrow (he loves to go out for breakfast just like his mommy!). Then Dan’s parents are taking him to an indoor playground, then we’re going to The Bahooka for dinner. I’m not sure how I feel about two restaurants in one day with baby Reid in tow, but we’ll see how it goes. We got Daniel a glide bike for his birthday and I am so excited to give it to him. He has a little ride-on car that he rides just like a glide bike–getting a running start, then lifting his feet to glide as far as the momentum will take him. I hope he’ll be able to get the hang of the bike without too much frustration.

We’re throwing him a birthday party in a few weeks. Dan and Sue will be out of town for about a week, then they wanted time to recouperate before the party since they’re throwing it. I just finished designing the invitations this morning and they’ll probably go out in the mail in the next couple days. I’m really looking forward to the party. I just love birthday parties.

When I had Daniel, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with motherhood. I loved it, but I was so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything but sit on the couch and hold/nurse him. My recovery was long, which had something to do with it, but I don’t think I was prepared for how all-encompasing parenthood would be. Now that I’ve been parenting for 3 years, the addition of Reid has been completely different. I adore caring for him–even in my exhaustion in the middle of the night. Whereas I knew I wanted to have more children after Daniel was born, at the time it was just theoretical. Now I wish I could have 5 children, and I mean it concretely. Maybe it’s knowing that Reid might be my last child that makes me cherish him all the more and allows me to fantasize more unrealistically about the future.

On the flip side, thinking about the possibility that Reid is our last child, I’ve allowed myself to imagine a specific family when I think about our lives moving forward. I can put a time-table on my time as the mother of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. I can think about what I might do with my time once/if one or both of our children are in school. I can think about projects and games and activites specific to our family size. But even while I am slowly allowing myself to consider a two-child household as a real possibility, it still remains a mystery.

Dan really feels like we should be finished having children. He would have been happy remaining childless. After Daniel, he was happy with just Daniel. And now with Reid, he’s happy with the just the two of them. Of course, he’d be happy to have another child once the child arrived, but the idea of having yet another is really scary to him. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to me to limit our family when it feels like we’ve only just begun. The real conversation about another child can’t really take place yet anyway. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in agreement that a 3-year gap between children is ideal. I probably won’t bring up the possibility of another child with Dan for at least two more years. Who knows what will be going on in our lives at that time. Maybe I won’t want another child then (don’t count on it). And maybe Dan will (ha!).

I have been recovering from Reid’s birth quite rapidly. I’ve felt good enough to do some housework, cook a bit, and go for a walk. However, today I started bleeding again. I must have overdone it this weekend. Today I spent most of the day sitting on the sofa holding and nursing Reid while Daniel played with Sue. My bleeding has slowed down, but it’s still going. I also have passed some bits of tissue. I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about it. All the resources say to watch for excess bleeding and golf-ball-sized clots–neither of which are happening. But the idea that there are still bits of afterbirth inside me is a bit disconcerting. I’ve left a message with my midwife to call me if I need to worry about it. So far she hasn’t called, and I’m taking that as a good sign given that I have no signs of infection or anything.

Sleeping has been going better. Last night, except for one rough patch, we all slept relatively well. Everyone woke up around 10 AM and all in good moods! Tomorrow, because we’re taking Daniel out for breakfast, we’ll probably need to get up a little sooner than that, so I need to head off to bed. Reid is already sleeping, but I’m sure I can rouse him for some milk with a diaper change.

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5 Days Old

Poop.

Baby Reid poops so much. I can probably count on one hand–okay, maybe two–the number of diapers I’ve changed that didn’t have poop in them. During the day, this is not so bad, but in the middle of the night, when he’s sleeping peacefully and I hear a poop blast, it is so bad. I know changing him will wake him up, but I just can’t justify letting my beautiful little boy sit in his waste. And so, I change his diaper, which wakes him up. I nurse him back to sleep, and, often, he poops again–sometimes while he’s still at the breast. I know this won’t last forever, but I’ve gotten so little sleep the last few nights, it’s starting to get to me.

It seems he wants to nurse every 40 minutes to an hour (sometimes because of the poop/wake cycle, sometimes not) until about 2 am at which point he switches to nursing every 2-3 hours–much more manageable. Last night we went to bed a little after 10, and I we slept for about an hour and half before the nursing/pooping marathon began. Then it lasted until after 3 am.

I’m hoping that EC will remedy the poop business somewhat. When he poops in his diaper, he generally only expels a little bit. But the two times I’ve been able to catch his poops in the sink, he lets out much more–most likely because the classic EC position mimics a squat which is helpful for facilitating the passage of waste.

Reid had his first check-up today. He’s gained 8 ounces since he was born just five days ago! The doctor exclaimed, “That’s unheard of!” Often babies have dropped a few ounces at this point. Not our little Reid. It is possible–even likely–that the little portable scale used to determine his weight at birth was not entirely accurate, but even so, Reid’s rapid weight gain is surprising. Daniel also gained weight quickly. I remember his doctor exclaiming something similar when he was first weighed by them. I think I just have power milk.

Besides our night battles, Reid has been a most lovely addition to our family. He is so easily soothed, and doesn’t mind being put down too much. We are still attachment parenting, but just due to the elder boy in our family, we can’t hold Reid as much without compromising Daniel’s needs. So far, we’ve done a good job managing the two, but when Dan goes back to work, and we can’t tag-team during the day, I think some jealousy issues might emerge. Once I’ve fully recovered from the birth and can be on my feet more, I’ll be able to hold Reid in the Moby Wrap and be hands-free to play with Daniel.

We’re going to try to make it to the park for our EC meeting/play group tomorrow to let Daniel get some running around time. I’ll be able to introduce Reid to some of our friends and sit in the shade outside. I’m really looking forward to it.

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26 Weeks Pregnant

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel… Daniel has been a challenge lately. I have several theories as to why, but what I really want to know is how to get it under control. He’s been throwing some massive tantrums lately–a couple have been in the middle of the night. So far, they’ve all been about him wanting things done a particular way. One started recently during my assisting him in the bathroom. He fell apart when I unbuttoned his pants before getting to the bathroom. Sometimes, he can’t handle it when I can’t retrieve a piece of food I just ate because he wanted it.

His first real tantrums began around when he weaned. When we were still nursing, offering my breast always calmed him down. A wise friend of mine told me that giving the breast to an upset toddler was like having a reset button. I wish I had that reset button right now. I may get it back…

I’ve been trying to prepare Daniel for when Reid comes and gets to nurse all the time. We’ve been talking about how the milk will be especially for Reid because babies can’t eat food until they get their teeth. Daniel thinks that when my milk comes back, he’ll get to have it, too. It makes sense that he would think that since I told him he couldn’t nurse anymore because there was no more milk. In his mind, it’s obvious that when the milk comes back, he’ll get to have some. I’m open to letting him nurse again… but I’m not sure how I plan to handle it. So far, I’ve just been listening to him talk about it, and have been keeping the conversation neutral.

I’ve also started watching a friend’s 4-month-old baby girl twice a week. Daniel has been handling it so well–better than I could have hoped. He loves baby Lydia, wants to kiss her head, hold her hand, play with her, show her things. And he hasn’t yet asked me to hold him while I’ve been holding her. It helps that Lydia is an extremely content child. She only cries when she’s hungry or tired… so far, anyway. I can only hope that Reid is as calm and content as she is. Caring for Lydia has been a wonderful introduction to parenting two children. I am learning so much about the needs of our family through this experience. Not only am I learning how best to be present with Daniel, but I’m also learning what new/different baby items will be useful this time around.

I’ve also been practicing EC with Lydia. It has been easier than I remember it being. Out of the 5 times I’ve taken her, she’s peed 4 of the times! I wish more parents were aware of just how amazing and possible EC is in any circumstances. I can’t wait to start EC with Reid. I plan to try to start right away–at least within the first month.

Baby Reid has so far preferred to lay in my uterus as if it were a hammock. He’s laying sideways most of the time–often facing my back. He likes to kick my insides, which feels very bizarre. I don’t recall Daniel doing that much at all. Today, though, Reid was facing forward a bit and my belly was dancing around while he kicked. I’m feeling the tiniest bit nervous that he won’t end up in the right position for delivery. Daniel was head-down by this point. I know I have a long way to go still, and I shouldn’t worry, but I am already trying to prepare myself for the slight possibility that I may end up with a stubborn little breech baby.

I was supposed to have my glucose test last week, but my appointment with my midwife was cancelled do to a birth. We haven’t been able to come up with another time that works for us both yet. Until the test, I’m content to eat too much chocolate pudding and peanut butter sandwich cookies. I have been gaining weight pretty rapidly, though, so I’ll probably need to cut back a smidge, at least. I’ve already gained close to 30 pounds. Apparently, a pound a week is the norm at this stage in the pregnancy–but I’m still gaining 2 or 3 pounds most weeks.

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19 1/2 Months Old

Oh, how they change.

I was just re-reading my 17-month blog about Daniel and was astounded at how much he’s learned over the last two and a half months!

Daniel is speaking in full sentences sometimes–usually the sentences are just long strings of words, but occasionally, they’re grammatically correct. When he wants to nurse, he says, “More need nilp!” Often, when he’s getting put to bed in his own bed, he’ll request, “Lay down, Mommy’s Daddy’s pidow (pillow)?”

And he has some words that he just insists on saying incorrectly. Water is “watee”, steering wheel is “wa wheel”, car is “ow”, mouth is “nouth”, and milk is still “nilp”. Motorcycle and helicopter are indistinguishable and sound like “atotato”, and at the sound of any siren, he yelps, “Help abody (somebody)!” Tow trucks also, “Help abody.”

Pottying is going so well. We still have accidents, but they’re almost always just little dribbles. The only times Daniel has a real soaker is when I don’t go to him quickly enough after he gets up from his nap. He’s completely out of diapers now. At about 17 months, I stopped putting him in diapers during the day and about 3 weeks ago, I stopped putting him in diapers at night. He’s still in training pants about 80% of the time, but I recently bought him a few more pairs of real undies.

Sleep is still a bit of an issue. Once the holidays were over, we decided Daniel was old enough to understand when I told him, “No more milk until morning.” After a miraculous two days, Daniel slept ALL NIGHT LONG!!! My punishment was to get a bit of mild mastitis (infected milk ducts) from going so long without nursing. I was sore for several days and had a fever for one night, but it went away without my needing anti-biotics (which I probably wouldn’t have taken unless it was unbearable anyway).

But then we went on our church retreat. And we were back at square one. Tonight is night 4 since returning from the retreat and it seems like tonight will go better than the last three. Judging by how easily Daniel went to bed, the rest of the night will hopefully go smoothly. I’m willing to give this nighttime weaning a full week’s worth of difficult nights before I change my strategy, but with last week’s success, I’m feeling confident that once Daniel realizes we’re not backing down again, he’ll stop crying “More need nilp!” over and over and over again.

I’ll try to remember to post the results in about a week.

Until then, enjoy your sleep! I envy you.

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Amost 15 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to write something about Daniel for the last couple of months… I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now there’s so much to say, I couldn’t possibly say it all.

This year–especially this summer–has been so busy! We’ve been traveling almost every other weekend. Since April we’ve been to (in order): Lake Tahoe (5 days), Newport Beach (5 days), Las Vegas (3 days), Bullhead/Laughlin (3 days), Hawaii (8 days), San Diego (3 days), Lake Tahoe (3 days). And we still have two trips left: Boston (6 days), San Francisco (3 or 4 days). Sheesh!!!

In between packing, traveling, unpacking, and doing laundry, I’ve been trying to get some work done (haven’t been very successful). I’m just not in that work mode. All I want to do is spend time playing with Daniel. He’s growing so fast and learning so much! He’s getting to be of the age where everything is a learning experience that we can share. He’s inquisitive about everything, constantly exploring and trying to do things, repeating words and sounds, communicating his wants and needs. He’s just so wonderful!

Last night after I had some trouble getting him to stay in bed (there were many protests and tears), he jumped into my arms before I could lay him back down and held onto me so tightly that I would have had to pry his hands off of me to do so. And before I even thought about doing that he looked at me and kissed me over and over again, then laid his head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep. It was one of those touching moments that you remember forever. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him and instantly regretted trying to make him lay down alone in his bed (I usually lay with him… last night I thought I’d try something new… didn’t work).

He’s still waking several times at night to nurse which is tiring and difficult for me sometimes, but it’s completely normal for a cosleeping child of this age. In fact, it’s something he’ll probably continue to do for quite some time as long as we keep him in our bed. This is no surprise to us–we knew what we were getting into when we decided to keep Daniel in our bed–but it does get tiring. I’m not really helping matters either… I stay up late checking email, MySpace, watching TV, spending time with The Husband, or even working (gasp!). Daniel sleeps for a good 3-4 hours for his first stretch. I could be sleeping then, too, but I’d rather have adult time.

Just a couple days ago, Daniel started saying “hat” and “ball”. He also says, “water” and “bottle” but never together–too much at once for him–but often they’re interchangeable. I always have my water bottle with me so he knows he can get a sip if he says either word. He says “no” a lot now even though we try to say things like “not for Daniel” or “food doesn’t go on the floor” instead of “no no!”. It was inevitable that he’d pick it up. He says “doh?” when he puts a phone to his ear and is finally saying “mama” and “daddy” with intention. He can make animal noises for: dog, cat, horse, goat/sheep, bird, and cow, and he says “un-unnnn!” when he sees a land vehicle of any kind. For air vehicles, he says “hkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk” and flies his hand around like an airplane.

He can point to most body parts when asked. We’re still working on some of the less “popular” ones: elbows, knees, neck, etc. I’ve been especially working on shoulders and knees because he knows all the other parts for the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He tries to snap when he hears music, but really all he’s doing is tapping his thumb and forefinger together. It’s pretty darn cute.

The other day I was looking for my keys–I knew Daniel had been playing with them the day before, but I lost track of where they ended up. I was going through the house looking everywhere I could think of, when I said out of frustration, “Daniel, where did you put my keys???!!!” He looked at me, and walked over to the DVR and retrieved my keys from the cubbyhole it sits in. They say that babies probably understand more than double what we think they do… this sure did prove that point to me.

We’ve been switching from using cloth diapers to training pants. He has a few different kinds and they’re all super cute. I’m sure I’ll give in to my temptation to buy him a couple more pairs as we transition away from the diapers so I don’t have to do the laundry as often. But I’m hoping that him being in trainers will help us be more on the ball when it comes to pottying. On our most recent trip (to Lake Tahoe), Daniel only wet 4 or 5 diapers the entire weekend (including nighttime!). I know he’s ready to be out of diapers. I do like to use them as my security blanket when we’re out in public. I’m still not ready to deal with “accidents” at the grocery store. Though I do shop at alternative grocery stores so it wouldn’t be too bad–and Trader Joe’s does have a nice big bathroom.

Daniel’s tooth count is up to 12–the four on top in front, on bottom in front, and his four one-year molars. I think he’s working on his canines now. His gums are red, but they’re not really swollen yet. He’s finally able to eat a greater diversity of foods, but still isn’t very interested in eating much. He just nibbles here and there.

Now that I’m beyond tired, I’ll get myself to bed and hope for a resful night.

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Over 10 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to blog for the last few weeks, but just haven’t found the time. I’ve either been too tired, too busy or too distracted. This month has had it’s fair share of drama as well as several developments, so this will probably end up being a long one. Right now it’s probably too late (it’s after 1am) but if I don’t get it done now, I’ll just keep putting it off.

Last Saturday, Daniel started to get a little bit of a cold. We didn’t think anything of it since he didn’t have a fever or a runny nose and his attitude was that of any healthy little boy. He had a little cough and some sneezing, but they were fairly minor, so we spent the day out and about hoping the fresh air would do him some good. But about halfway through the day, the cough started to sound like croup. Still, we didn’t think much of it–Daniel’s cough turned to croup last time he was sick. We finished up at Target (buying some last minute things for our planned vacation to Lake Tahoe that we were supposed to leave for the next morning) and headed home to let Daniel take a nap and to turn on the humidifier with eucalyptus oil to help his cough settle down.

By the time we got home, he was coughing so much, he gagged himself and threw up which made him cry. Croup quickly makes your throat sore, so that on top of the vomiting was too much for him. Dan took him into the bathroom and turned the shower on to get Daniel breathing the humidity asap in hopes of soothing his throat so he could calm down and sleep. But his crying made his coughing worse, and his throat got so raw and sore that it started swelling and he was wheezing, which freaked me out. I told Dan we had to go to the emergency room just in case he started really having trouble breathing.

He screamed and coughed all the way there, and was breathing noisily until the doctors gave him epinephrine, then put him on oxygen. Once the epinephrine reduced the swelling in his throat, he started acting more like his normal self. They gave him a steroid shot, prescribed oral steroids for 4 days and told us we could take the trip to Lake Tahoe as long as he did okay that night.

We called his doctor when we got home (it was pretty late, but our doctor gives his patients his home number for such circumstances) who also told us Daniel could go on the trip and also prescribed him an inhaler in case he needed immediate relief as he did that night.

Daniel ended up refusing to take the steroids. When I forced the syrup into his mouth with the medicine dropper, he vomited it back up as soon as he swallowed it. He wouldn’t even take them disguised in a bowl of ice cream–they did taste awful. Still, he didn’t need the inhaler and he seemed to feel much better the next day and every day thereafter. He’s still got a bit of a cough and a runny nose, but it seems like a regular cold–milder than the two times he was sick before.

Our vacation ended up being a lot of fun… somewhat stressful at times, but a good break from everyday life. And with Dan’s parents there with us, I had tons of help with Daniel which was wonderful.

Earlier this month, I ordered Daniel a new car seat since he’d outgrown his infant seat. I did tons of research before deciding on the Britax Boulevard–a fancy-pants car seat that children can use from birth to 65 lbs. It was expensive, but worth it since it was the only seat Daniel would need until he could ride in a simple booster. Well, we waited and waited, and the seat never came. I contacted the company and they didn’t get back to me. A week later, I contacted them again and they apologized saying that my order must have gotten lost in their system and that they’d send the seat right away. Then UPS had a mishap and the delivery was delayed. Finally, we received a seat, but it was the wrong one. While it was in the same category of seats, it really couldn’t compare to the one we ordered. it was less than half the cost of the Britax and can only hold up to 45 lbs. On top of that, the straps are awkward and the seat is almost too short for Daniel (the top of the seat needs to be at least 1 inch taller than the baby when they’re in the rear-facing position). But instead of returning the seat like I probably should have, I just asked the company to refund us the difference because I didn’t want to deal with returning a 35 lb., oversized car seat. But now every time I put Daniel in that seat, I mutter some frustration about it. At least the seat sits in Dan’s car so I don’t have to look at it every day.

But onto more exciting news. Daniel is a crawling expert now and has learned how to climb. He can go up stairs and can almost climb into his bed by himself. He’s quickly cruising around the furniture, and is starting to be able to balance when only holding on with one hand. I can get him to stand without holding onto anything so long as I trick him into it. If he’s distracted by something, I can sneak my hand away and he’ll stand on his own for a few seconds before sitting down. But if there’s nothing to distract him, he holds on tight and sits down if I even try to take my hand away.

I believe Daniel is saying his first words (besides mama and dada). We’re pretty sure he’s saying “light” and we think he might also be saying “that”. The words sound similar coming out of his mouth, but he usually only says “light” (or “yite”) when he’s repeating us saying it or when we actually turn on the light. He says “that” (or “dat”) in his babbling and without a whole lot of intention. Still, he says it often enough that we think it might actually have some meaning to him.

He’s still doing well on the potty. He has good days and not so good days, but the not so good days are almost always attributed to my laziness rather than to Daniel’s lack of communication about his needs. The days that he has the most wet diapers are the days I spend being busy with work, housework, TV programs, or some other distraction. Strangely, though, sometimes on those busy days, he still stays dry, though those days are few. Usually we can have a dry day so long as I’m fully engaged with him and responding to his communication. He was dry most of the time we were in Lake Tahoe due to the fact that there were very few distractions for me there. He even had two dry nights! Both nights he needed to use the toilet twice and then immediately when he woke up in the morning. For some reason, since we’ve gotten back, I haven’t been as willing to get up in the middle of the night to take him to the potty, so he’s had very wet diapers again.

I’m sure there’s more to say, but it will have to come at another time. I am exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. I don’t even think I’ll proofread this blog before posting it. Good night.

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7 Months Old

The blogs are getting further and further apart. This is partly due to the holidays taking up much of my time, but also because the milestones are spaced a little further apart the older he gets.

The exciting news this month is that he has started to use sign language to communicate! We’ve only been using three signs–one of which is not the actual ASL sign, but our own adaptation. Daniel can sign “potty”, “milk”, and “all done”. He’s not totally consistent with using them, and therefore I don’t see all the signs he’s actually using. Sometimes he’ll sign “potty” and then refuse to let me take him to the toilet by arching his back, kicking and fussing. Today he signed “all done” while on the potty, then when I started to remove him from the toilet, he started peeing. I think he’s still practicing with them and experimenting with what happens when he uses them. Next we’ll be working on “bye bye” and “eat”.

Daniel is still in his own bed, but his night waking has gotten unacceptably frequent. He’s waking every 2-3 hours to nurse on a regular basis. It’s wearing me out. I think it’s time to start weaning him from night-time nursing–at least from frequent night-time nursing. If I can just get him to only need to nurse once at night, I’ll feel successful.

We are finally going to apply for Daniel’s birth certificate tomorrow. I’ve been putting it off for no good reason. But Dan’s grandmother gave Daniel some money for Christmas and I can’t open him a bank account until he has a birth certificate and a social security card. All I needed was a little kick in the butt.

My neck has been hurting me for several months now. I went to the chiropractor today to see if he could help at all. He took X-rays and thermal scans and did a series of tests on me. Tomorrow I’ll go back so he can tell me what’s he’s found and what he might be able to do about it. He did show me that my spine curves slightly to the left and that my thermal scan showed extreme asymmetry. I’m really looking forward to getting on with my adjustments. Hopefully I’ll be better able to carry Daniel for longer periods of time.

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5 1/2 Months Old

Last night, my dream came true. Daniel slept through the night! I vaguely remember him waking up once, but he put himself back to sleep fairly quickly. I don’t expect him to do it again tonight, but I sure do hope he does.

The sitting has been going well. Daniel still topples, but much less often.

I put him in one of those baby park swings yesterday. Daniel absolutely loved it. He was squealing and laughing the whole time.

Showering is going to become challenging pretty soon. Until recently, I’ve been putting Daniel in his bouncy chair when I shower in the morning. But he’s not so happy with that arrangement any more. A few days ago, I put him in the doorway jumper instead. That’s been working okay, but I can tell it won’t last long. I’m getting worried about what to do with Daniel while I shower when he starts crawling, and then, when he’s walking. Showering at night could be my only option… but it’s just not the same. I feel so much more awake, more ready for the day when I’ve showered in the morning.

This coming Tuesday, we have two appointments to visit play gyms. Our first stop will be Gymboree, then we’ll go to My Gym. I’m looking forward to having a regular opportunity to meet other moms with babies. So far, I’ve not been so good at it. I go to the open house day at the midwives’ office every Thursday, but I’m the only regular. Almost every week, there are different moms and children, so I don’t really get the chance to get to know any one. I also signed up for a Yahoo group of EC families (that’s Elimination Communication–babies on potties). They have a play group on Wednesdays that I’ll try out soon.

I have been back to my old size for a few weeks now. I didn’t think I’d actually be able to fit into my old pants again–with the spreading of the hips and all–but I guess everything went back to the way it was. Dan’s pretty happy with the way it’s all worked out.

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