Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ten Month Update... And Some Other Stuff

Happy 10 months to my beautiful, happy, friendly, independent little man!  We weighed him last week at the birth center when I went for my midwife appointment.  Looks like he has clawed his way back up from 17lbs at 8 months (7th%ile) to 21 lbs at 10 months (39th%ile).  That's right people - a four pound gain in two months.  No wonder we've had poop!  And he's still eating like a horse!

Oh, and we got the 7th tooth the other day (lower left lateral incisor).  The 8th can't be far behind!

I think we may be done co-sleeping again, this time.  And this time I think it might be for good, barring special circumstances.  He is very restless and distracted when co-sleeping lately, due to his new mobility, and I seem to disturb him a lot (not to mention what he does to me!).  Last night he slept all night in his crib, and had two wakeups at 1:45a and 4:30a, which were easy - a quick bottle and back to sleep by himself.  I think that might be a record - if not, it's only happened one or two other times.  This is great timing for sleeping on his own, because I want him to be a fairly independent sleeper by the time Baby Girl (BG) comes - a new interloper will need to be in my bed!

In other sleeping news, Andrew has given up the pacifier.  He just won't take it anymore.  Which... is really fine, because this seems like an awesome time to wean him from it and not have to worry about a struggle with it later.

The one behavioral thing we are dealing with right now is biting  He seems to bite to communicate that he needs something.  Tired? Bites.  Wants a snack of solids? Bites.  Wants mommy to come down on the floor and play? Bites.  Maybe it's related to the recent/upcoming teething.  But I can't help but think it's at least partly that he needs more ways to communicate.  I've started expanding the signs we use (adding "eat" and "tired" to "milk" and "all done."  Also hoping to add "potty" or some variant soon), and have been trying to be more consistent with them.  He hasn't made any signs back yet, but if I make the sign for milk (which I've been using since he was 4 months), he whimpers and kicks his legs: "YES THAT'S WHAT I WANT, ISN'T IT OBVIOUS???"  Hopefully this is just a teething/communication phase, and not a "We have a biter" revelation.

Also, fascinating cloth diaper development.  In the past, I have just used the Kirkland Free and Clear laundry detergent from Costco for my diaper laundry instead of springing for any special soap (which the diaper makers generally recommend, and it's been working fine.  Well, Travis went to Costco a couple months ago and picked up a bunch of ALL Free and Clear instead - there was a coupon which made the name brand cheaper than the Kirkland brand, so he thought, "Score!" and stocked up on it.  So we've been using All for like 6 weeks now, maybe two months.  

Well, you also might remember that ever since Andrew got back on the eating-not-starving track, he's been pooping up a storm, and having a lot of poop-splosions.  Well, since that time, the diapers have been more stained and way way way more smelly.  Smelly to the point that vinegar was no help, and stained to the point that bleach was no help.  Seriously. Of course, Andrew started eating well... about two months ago.

It finally occurred to me that the smelly, stained diapers could possibly be related to the switch in detergent and not the sudden volume of poop.  So I picked up some more Kirkland detergent this week, and tonight was my first load of diaper wash going back to the Kirkland brand.

You guys, it was like night and day.  There is NO SMELL.  The stains that were there, and I assume were starting to set in are much lighter!  I can't even believe it!  I would never have believed that a name brand like All was worse than Kirkland - let alone WAY WAY worse.  I feel like I should apologize to Costco.
Anyway that's my story.  And the lesson is: diaper stains and smells got you down?  Try switching detergents!  I recommend Kirkland!

Here are some recent pictures of our guy:

Oh and On Pine Hill (heh) last week we got 7-8" of snow when 1-1.5 was expected.  After it warmed up and the slabs of snow started sliding off our metal roof, this is the gnarly ice sculpture we got to enjoy for a while.

Fun times!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In brief

Crawling - for real, on the knees.  None of this Army Crawl stuff.
Pulling himself up without help on any piece of furniture or freestanding structure he can find.
Cruising the furniture to get where he wants to go (and usually to get into something he's not allowed to be into, like say, the power cords of the laptops).  This activity is new as of tonight.
Falling on his butt and not being phased by it at all.
Gestures grandly and speaks with purpose, as if he's giving a speech of tremendous import.
Eating solids like a football player.

Seems like he's about two seconds away from both walking and talking.

Greek-style scallops with tomatoes, leeks, and feta with sides of couscous and broccoli 

Do you want to share some?

Grand gestures


Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So here's our current fun - TMI about illness, but what an adventure: 

Went to Michigan this weekend to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday.  On Saturday afternoon, while visiting great-grandma at her care center, Andrew vomited twice, just right out of the blue.  I was so shocked at the volume coming out of his body.  My mom was like, "Maybe he had a gas bubble and just burped up."  And I'm like, no, dude, that's some serious vomit right there.  Following this was watery (!!) diarrhea, uncontainable by a diaper, and so every single diaper change was accompanied by a clothes change.  He was put on a diet of exclusively pedialyte that first day, and then a mix of formula/pedialyte thereafter.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, flying home to Colorado.  Travis needed to use the barf bag on the airplane.  I barely was able to get him from the plane (which came in to the absolute farthest gate possible, of course) to the curb.  We needed 3 bathroom breaks (with various uses of the toilet, if you know what I mean).  I made the executive decision to get a hotel room near the airport for the night, instead of attempting the drive to our house in the foothills (a solid hour away, and oh by the way, under 3 feet of snow from the weekend storm).  I got them to the hotel and checked in, got Andrew to sleep in the pack and play, got Travis set up in the bed with a bucket and a clear path to the toilet, then I took off to go get our car out of the parking lot (we had taken the hotel's shuttle for quickness/convenience), and go to the store for supplies.  

At Walmart, I started feeling lightheaded and nauseous, but figured it was because I hadn't eaten anything in quite sometime.  And you know, pregnant.  So I made the awesome mistake of stopping at Wendy's for a sandwich, although I did put some thought into what would be most benign if I was forced to see it a second time (so that was no to the chili, yes to the chicken sandwich).  As soon as I got back to the hotel, I laid down in the bed with severe stomach cramps, and within a half hour I had yakked the first time.

Sometime in the middle of that miserable night, I posted about it to facebook, and my mom said that both she and my dad had the same, along with my brother and sister-in-law.  Of the eight of us that were together that weekend, only my baby brother escaped.  Andrew had it Saturday, then starting about 30 hours later, it took down 6 adults within 6 hours of each other.

Yesterday was miserable.  Thankfully, Andrew seemed to be feeling better, and he mostly self-entertained all day long (what a trooper!) in addition to taking two significantly long naps.  Travis and I eventually had to get up the gumption to get up, pack up, and go home.  As we were driving home, the roads (including our road!!) were all clear and dry, and we thought, well, hey, maybe this won't be as bad as we thought.  Wishful thinking.  All 3 feet of snow were still on the driveway, barely compacted at all.  So we packed up the essentials and left the rest in the car.  Travis carried Andrew and I carried the laptops and the pedialyte (this tells you where the priorities lie), and we waded up to the house.  Let me put our driveway in perspective for you.  It is about 1/8 mile long (maybe just a bit longer) and gains about 125 ft of elevation.  It's a bit of a hike on a dry day.  Now imagine being up to your thighs in snow, lugging 20 lbs of baby and/or laptops.  While sick as a dog.  Oh, and pregnant.  Totally awesome.

I seriously considered calling for professional help yesterday.  We have no family in town (and even if we did, they were all sick too!).  We didn't want to call a friend who would understand the driveway situation because we didn't want them to get sick too.  I seriously considered calling the midwives and getting a doula or a nurse or someone like that to come over, but then they'd have to wade/hike/snowshoe up the driveway too!!  I felt really super duper alone.

We are all much better this morning.  We slept like rocks last night.  I just changed Andrew's first normal looking diapers (one wet, one dirty) in 2.5 days.  Travis has found the gumption to snowblow the driveway.  I have eaten some scrambled eggs.  My brother suspects norovirus - the kind of stomach virus that takes down entire cruise ships - and I think that's a pretty good guess.

Stay healthy, my friends.  And use hand sanitizer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Look Out! Here Comes #2!

So here's a piece of juicy news for you: we are expecting again.  That's right - Andrew is going to be a big brother.  I am due June 20, and it's a girl!

There is a long story behind this, and perhaps the reason that I've been so quiet about posting lately.  Let me tell you how it all went down.

Around Andrew's six-month birthday (October 28), I experienced a decrease in pumping output.  I had been pumping 20-24oz a day, and over a two week period, I started pumping around 7oz. a day.  Andrew needed 12-16oz. a day.  This was pretty concerning, as I really wanted to make it to a year on breastmilk and not have to give him any formula.  I was upset - I felt like my body was failing.

I looked online and in my books and found two items of interest: (1) pumping output is not an indicator of total milk supply - your baby can get more from you than the pump can, and (2) if you have an oversupply, it will re-regulate itself around six months.  I never considered myself to have oversupply, because Andrew never complained that it was too much or too fast, but I did pump extra.  I found it weird that my supply would re-regulate to less than Andrew was needing, but okay.  As for the first part, I was relieved that we had two long-ish trips coming up (France/Spain for Thanksgiving and home for Christmas), and Andrew would be able to nurse from me a lot.

Right around that same time, Andrew went from sleeping a nice 5-6 hour block followed by some shorter blocks to waking up every 2 hours on a good night, every hour on a bad night.  He also started to get a little moody, a little clingy, a little cranky, until, by Christmas, he wanted to nurse every 20 minutes.  If I was in the room, he had to be on my body.  Daddy could no longer help out at night.  Our happy little boy seemed to have disappeared.  This I also explained by saying 'well he's dealing with teething, then the onset of object permanence, then learning to crawl.'

Over Christmas, Andrew had his first honest-to-goodness cold complete with fever (no fever for the first 8 months - impressive!), and by the time we got home to Colorado, he was mostly better but still coughing.  Worried that it was going to turn into pneumonia or something, I took him into the Children's Hospital urgent care center on December 31.  As part of triage, they weighed him, and he weighed in at 17.5 lbs, clothed.

My heart seized.  At his six month well-baby visit two months earlier, he had weighed 18 lbs, naked.

Since this wasn't our normal ped with all of our records, no one noticed that anything was amiss.  I was too shocked and ashamed to say anything right then, but I was starting to panic.  When I got home, I told Travis, and he *really* started to worry.  I realized that I didn't have just a pumping output problem, but a total milk supply problem.  Andrew wasn't cranky and clingy because he was developing object permanence, but because he was hungry.  And had been for two months.  There's only one thing I could think of that might totally tank your milk supply just out of the blue like that.

I had been meaning to take a couple pregnancy tests for a while -- all of my tests left over from the "conceiving Andrew" timeframe were expiring.  In fact, I had taken one, and the pink dye smeared all over so that you couldn't even see the control line -- definitely expired and useless.  But I hadn't taken another one.  On New Year's Day, I picked three out of my stash, an internet cheapie dip strip, a First Response Early Result, and a Clear Blue Easy Digital.  I peed in a cup so I could use all three, and dipped the cheapie.  By the time I got the package for the First Response open, two lines had appeared on the strip.  All three tests came out clearly, undeniably positive.

I could say I was shocked, and I was definitely surprised that it was really real, but I was mentally preparing myself that this was the missing piece of the puzzle that I had been trying to solve.  Travis and I spent the rest of the day trying to wrap our brains around the idea that we had another little one on the way.  See our strategy following birth was to not try, of course, but also not to particularly prevent anything.  We figured we'd trust in the protection provided by exclusively breastfeeding, that statistics said we wouldn't catch the first egg, that after my first period we'd know to be more careful, and that if all of this was wrong and we got pregnant anyway, well, we wanted another child someday, so there you go.

Well, as Steve says, "If you're not preventing, you're trying."  And apparently my body didn't recognize pumping at work as exclusively breastfeeding.  And statistics failed us.  And it's a really good thing that we were planning on having another babe, even if it wasn't necessarily so soon.

I estimated, based on when my milk supply dropped, that we had probably conceived sometime around the end of October, and based on that, I was probably 11 or 12 weeks along.  Imagine my shock when I had a dating ultrasound and found that I was 17 weeks instead!  Not only had I skipped the entire first trimester, but I was almost halfway done!  And we could have the anatomy scan in 3 weeks!  My due date is June 20th, and if this one comes on the due date like Andrew did, the kids will be one week shy of 14 months apart.

Subsequent to finding out about Andrew's weight loss and the positive pregnancy test, we started Andrew on formula, and he drank up like a man in the desert.  In spite of my intention to keep breastfeeding as much as possible and only supplement with formula, he weaned himself pretty quickly once he realized he could have unlimited formula.  He has done really well with it, and has chunked up quite nicely - he has gained two pounds and one inch just in the last month alone.  Also we took the opportunity of stopping night-nursing to do some non-cry-it-out sleep training, and he picked up on that really quickly as well, and can now put himself to sleep from practically wide awake in his crib.  I feel like he has grown up and matured so much in the last month.  Maybe he will be ready to be a big brother.

Since I haven't been posting to the blog, anticipating this announcement, I've been storing up posts from the last month to go back and post once the news was out.  So those will go up shortly.

We are so thankful for the gift of life and love that's currently inside me.  Yes, it was a surprise, but what an incredible thing.  She's going to turn our world upside down again, but I say bring it on.

Hello there, cutie
Hands up by face

Toes (upper left)