Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dear Bo, 6 months...your half birthday!

6 months old!  Here's what you're up to:

  • You wear 3-6 month clothes.  
  • You have about 1 week left in Size 2 diapers, then we're movin' on up!
  • At your last appointment (2 weeks ago), you weighed 17 pounds, 5 ounces  (50th percentile) and were 25.25 inches long (25th percentile).
  • You roll over from front to back a lot and are trying to make it from back to front now.
  • You are trying to sit up, but you fall forward pretty easily.

  • You can maintain a sitting position for a little bit if we "set you up" just right.
  • Your smile covers your whole face.  I love it!

  • You have a great giggle.
  • You coo a lot.  You have been "talking" up a storm lately.  You absolutely love to be talked to.
  • You like to blow bubbles with your spit.
  • You have discovered your feet and like to do "toe-touches".

  • You like bath time.  You kick your chubby legs in the water.  You don't like when we rinse the soap out of your hair though.
  • You are finally swaddle free and Nap Nanny free!  You sleep on your tummy.  This is a huge blessing!
  • You slept through the night 3 times this month!
  • You started solids a week ago.  So far, you love everything you've tried (apples, pears, and squash).  You eat like an old pro.  Like most little boys, you don't like it when I clean your face and hands after you eat.
  • You've started reaching out and touching our faces.  It's so sweet.  It especially melts my heart when you do this when I rock you.  
  • You love tummy time now!
  • This was a hard month.  It caught me by surprise because I really thought we were past the really hard part.  You seemed to turn such a corner last month!  It was a nightmare 4 weeks (reminded me a lot of the four week period when you were 8-12 weeks old).  You suddenly stopped sleeping at night.  You were up every 1-2 hours flopping, squirming, shrieking from gas pains (at least that's what we thought it was).  You also stopped eating well.  Almost every feeding except for the middle of the night feeding, you would stiffen, arch your back, and scream when we tried to feed you.  Then during the day, you would randomly have these "spells" of shrieking.  It was all just awful.  We felt so bad for you.  I stopped nursing you and put you on an elemental formula (Nutramigen AA).  They also did a scope to rule out that your esophagus was injured.  And just as suddenly as it stopped.  For the last 5 days, you have seemed like such a happy, comfortable baby.  You have had no "spells", only about 1 bad feeding a day (if that), and you're back to sleeping at night.  We are so very thankful.
  • During the 4 week nightmare, you had no schedule at all.  Whenever we could get you to sleep, we did, you were up every couple of hours in the night, you often thought the middle of the night was social hour(s), and you would get up super early--like 5am or 6am.'re closer to your "old self".  You generally wake about 7:30-8am.  You take a full bottle (5 ounces) then eat a jar of fruit.  You take a 1-2 hour nap in the morning then drink another bottle and have 1/2 a jar of veggies and half a jar of fruit.  You take another 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon then have another bottle.  We feed you another 1/2 jar of veggies and 1/2 jar of fruit in the evening then give you a bottle before bed.  You usually take your last bottle between 8-9pm.  Generally, you wake up at around 2am to eat, but you've slept through the night 3 times this month so I know you have it in you!
  • You have started to drink a lot less now that you're eating baby food.  You generally take a full bottle in the morning and before bed (5-5.5 ounces) and 3-4 ounces at the other feedings.
  • You are much easier to put down for naps and in the evening now.  We certainly can't just lay you in bed, but there is a lot less wrestling than before.
  • You are also much better with getting your pj's on after bath time.  For the last couple of months, you've screamed like we're torturing you when it's pj time, but you've now decided it's not so bad!
 Just look how you've grown:


Friday, May 28, 2010

Dear Mimi and Pop, Thanks again...

  • For letting us recharge. 
  • For keeping Baby Bo so we can have a date.
  • For letting us recharge (did I say that already?)
  • For making Bo smile.
  • For making us smile.
(Bo and Pop after the "Pop Shuffle"...)

Don't worry so much about us.

We love you!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dear Me, Don't forget the first 6 months...

Bo's half birthday is today!  Some days it feels like he just got here, and other days it feels like he's always been with us.

In case you ever think about having another baby, this list is so you don't forget what the first six months were like and what you have learned (or gotten more confused about)...

  1. Pregnancy is such a neat experience...especially when you can feel them moving and when you hear their heartbeat.  
  2. Pregnancy is hard.  You're carrying a lot of extra weight around, sleeping is difficult (if not impossible some nights), your hormones are raging out of control, the meds to stop labor are torturous, and you worry a lot about your unborn baby.
  3. See #1-2.  You will obviously feel conflicted about pregnancy.
  4. Childbirth is a miracle.  There is no other way to put it.  A complete miracle.
  5. Childbirth really stinks (and you only have experience with a c-section!).  The meds before surgery make you throw up.  The spinal block doesn't always work (and the pain is indescribable!).  And if they have to knock you out because the block doesn't work, you don't even get to hear your baby's first cry!
  6. See #3-4.  You will obviously feel conflicted about childbirth.
  7. C-section recovery isn't as bad as you feared.  Just stay ahead of the pain with the drug cocktail they give you.
  8. There is nothing like being taken care of by your mom after you've had a baby.  Nothing.
  9. Don't listen to the nursery about supplementing with formula.  Your milk will come in, and your baby will not starve.
  10. Get as much sleep as you can while you have help around those first few weeks.
  11. But's really hard to sleep as much as you can those first few weeks because you have so much adrenalin from the excitement of a new baby.
  12. You will feel like you need a straight jacket for a couple of weeks after the baby.  It will pass.  Just hold on.
  13. You will feel like you need a straight jacket when you stop nursing (if you have to stop cold turkey again).  It will pass.  Just hold on.
  14. You should nurse your baby.  Even though it was horribly hard the first couple of weeks, it was so worth it.  Remember the way the baby looks up at you with those big eyes, the sweet sounds they make, the way their hands drape over you, and that precious newborn smell.  It's so easy to not have to make/clean bottles.  It's worth it!  Hang in there!  You will be so glad you did.
  15. Don't feel like you have to nurse your baby.  Remember how horribly hard the first couple of weeks were?  I don't know if you can survive that again.  If you bottle feed, other people can feed the baby so you can get more rest.  It's really not that big of a deal to make/clean bottles.  And snuggling a baby and bottle feeding him is still a sweet and special experience.
  16. See #14-15.  Do whatever you want about nursing v. bottle feeding.  There's advantages and disadvantages to both.
  17.  Don't hold your baby all the time, especially when they sleep.  Let them cry it out.  You need rest.  The baby needs rest.  
  18. Hold your baby as much as you want to hold your baby.  Just do what you have to do to get some sleep and let the baby get some sleep.  6 months flies by!  You won't ruin their sleeping habits.  There's nothing sweeter than rocking a sleeping baby.  Don't worry about letting them cry it out! 
  19.  See #17-18.  Go with the flow about crying it out.  You're obviously going to be conflicted either way. 
  20. You cannot possibly prepare yourself for what hearing your baby hurt will do to you.  It will take you on an emotional roller coaster, cause you to panic, make you obsessively research for solutions (that don't exist).  It will make you crazy! will pass.  And as you've been told many times, the baby will not remember it.  Do what it takes to get through.  If that's putting them down and walking outside to take a breather, if it's asking someone for help, if it's staying up holding them and crying yourself.  Whatever gets you through...
  21. You cannot possibly prepare yourself for what sleep deprivation will do to you.  It will make you feel like you need a straight jacket.  It will pass.
  22. Prioritize your marriage.  Crazy hormones, sleep deprivation, and different child rearing philosophies will take their toll.   Laugh about all of these things as often as possible.
  23. Get your baby on a schedule.  They need a predictable wake up time and bed time.  Predictable nap times will make it easier on you.  Even if it means crying it out, get baby on a schedule!
  24. Scheduling is overrated.  Just go with the flow, and the baby will eventually get himself on a reasonable schedule.  
  25. See #22-23.  You will flip flop on the scheduling issue OVER and OVER again.  A somewhat predictable feeding schedule does make it easier, but don't obsess about scheduling every little thing.
  26. Stop reading books about scheduling and sleep training!  These books speak to the average baby with no special considerations whatsoever.  If your baby is premature, has MSPI, reflux, colic, is just demanding, etc., these will not work!  They'll just make you feel badly about yourself.  THROW THEM AWAY!
  27. Well meaning people will compare your baby to theirs ("oh yeah, that's how ___ was.  I just _____, and everything was fine."), think they know just what you're going through, etc.  No one knows your baby like you do.  You carried the baby for 9 months, are with him 24-7 in the beginning, and will spend a lifetime loving and worrying about him.  You've earned the right to make the best decisions on his behalf (even if they're not what someone else would do).  Trust yourself
  28. This too shall pass.  Say it over and over again because it's true.  If he's sick, if he's hurting, if he's not sleeping, if he's crying for no reason, if he's crying for a reason you can't figure out, if he's not eating well, if he's not nursing well, if you think you're going crazy....if...if...if...THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  It really will.
  29. Try not to remember... how sick the anti-labor meds made you, that the spinal block didn't work, the first time you had to walk after the c-section, the emotional roller coaster, how hard it was to get him to nurse well, sleep deprivation, his hurt cry.
  30. Don't ever forget... that newborn smell, tiny newborn hands, newborn sounds, the very first smile, the first laugh you heard, him nuzzling into your neck, rocking in the middle of the night and realizing he is yours, then realizing he is not really yours (he's His).
  31. See #29-30.  It's all worth it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Bo, You love the outdoors...

We spent most of the weekend outside, and you loved it! We planted flowers and veggies, and you kicked happily in your bouncer.  Then you got pooped and took a nap on me.  Your cheeks were rosy from all the fun (and your "guns" were scrumptious)!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear The One, Happy 33rd...

This is the 12th birthday I've spent with you.  How's that for making you feel old?

I think it's safe to say that we underestimated how sleep deprivation and a hurting baby would affect our marriage.  However, I think it's also safe to say that we underestimated how sharing a son and seeing each other with him would enhance our marriage.

It's been a trip; no?  So glad I'm taking it with you.

You're a great hubby.

And a great daddy. 


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Brooks and Blaze, I had fun with you this weekend...

Let's relive it in pictures...

The Three Musketeers!

Bo: I was in there first.
Brooks: Well, looks like I'm in here now; doesn't it?

Bo: Uh...what did they just say?
Brooks: Dude, don't look at them. I think they said they're putting us in matching outfits.
Bo: I thought that's what they said.

Bo: It will be funny if I put my hand over your neck like I'm choking you.

Brooks: It will be more funny if I stick my tongue out at them.

Brooks: Dude, get your head off my shoulder.
Bo: Sorry. Bad neck control.
Both: Let's just both look and maybe they'll stop taking pictures.

The End.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear Bo, You made it through your procedure like a champ...

Your procedure went smoothly. You slept decently the night before, stayed asleep and (mostly) happy until they took you back, and other than waking up madder than a hornet (which they say is completely normal for children), you were a good boy afterward. So thankful all went well!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Dear Bo, You've had no trouble...

...with the transition to bottle feeding.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dear Bo, Thanks for making me a momma...

My very first Mother's Day! We (I) enjoyed a yummy chocolate croissant and a very handsome little boy joined me at church.

I got a sweet card and some bath products.
Our little family of three took a long nap in the afternoon...
...then Momma and Daddy enjoyed a movie while you played with Mimi (thanks, Mimi!). It was a good day.

Even though we're in a rough patch right now, I'm still so grateful you made me a momma and love you more! (I got you this book, and it is so sweet!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dear Bo, Let's see if you have a lot of classmates named...

  1. Isabella
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Sophia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Madison
  8. Abigail
  9. Chloe
  10. Mia
 (The Top 10 names for girls, based on the 2009 Social Security Administration statistics.)

  1. Jacob
  2. Ethan
  3. Michael
  4. Alexander
  5. William
  6. Joshua
  7. Daniel
  8. Jayden
  9. Noah
  10. Anthony
(The Top 10 names for boys.)


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dear Bo, This phase is over for us...

Thursday, May 6th at 3pm is the last time I nursed you.

I didn't even know it would be the last time, which is probably a good thing because I am a sappy mess about "last times".  It's bittersweet, but mostly it feels just bitter right now.  I worked hard to make nursing work.  I survived the early weeks when both of us ended up in tears trying to get you to figure it out.  I survived the 2 weeks of exclusive pumping as we tested out an elemental formula in hopes of helping your tummy.  I survived building back up my supply and getting you nursing again after our 2 week elemental trial.  I survived your thrashing around, fussy nursing during month 3.  And I have persevered through this month of random eating and screaming.

But, I am surrendering.  I know you're not screaming at me, but it's heartbreaking when you get so worked up while you're trying to eat, as if I'm feeding you acid or nails.  I know you're just hurting.  I hate it for you.  We're trying to figure it out and make it better.

We almost made it 6 months.  Which I'm really proud of.  It's 3 months longer than I ever thought I'd make it.  It seems too short now though.

I will miss all of these things about nursing you:
  • The way your sweet little eyes look up at me.
  • The way you used to cover your eyes like a puppy when you were tiny, tiny.
  • The way you would hold my shirt or my finger.  
  • The way your eyes would roll back in your head when you were relaxed.
  • Middle of the night feedings.  Weird that I will miss these, but they were the only consistently great feeding you had.  You would be so relaxed and sweet, and I enjoyed rocking you and smelling that sweet baby smell you have.
  • The way you would pop off and grin at me.
But these, these things I will not miss:
  • The screaming and thrashing around at certain feedings.
  • Pumping.
  • Pumping.
  • Pumping.
  • Nursing bras.
  • Looking like I have a uniboob in nursing tanks.
I love you, little one.  You were worth all the heartache of figuring out this nursing madness.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear Reader, Do you hate traditional lullabies?

Then you should really go here.  Rockabye Baby has the coolest lullabies!  I got my little man the Journey lullabies.   I think he'll need Aerosmith soon (and maybe GNR...and maybe Coldplay...and maybe Metallica...)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dear Me, One year ago today...

You found out this...

And now you have this...

I'd say you're a blessed gal,


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dear Bo #1...where did you go?

 Bo #1:

The Bo in this post.

The Bo who has made so many strides with his tummy and his sleeping.

I love this Bo.  I miss this Bo.

Bo #2:

The Bo who has a new ear piercing, shrill scream.  The Bo that won't sleep at night.  The Bo that won't nap.  The Bo that can't get comfortable.  The Bo that screeches when he eats like I'm feeding him nails.

I love this Bo, too.  But I really wish he would go away and return Bo #1 to me.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Weather, Stay nice so we can do more of this...

Comfy baby carrier?  Check.
Pretty day?  Check.
Sunshades?  Check.
Out with my 2 favorite guys?  Double check.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dear Bo, Guess who gets to start solids in 2 weeks?

Can it be that we're closing in on 6 months already?  Your doctor's appointment is in two weeks, and we get to see what you think about solids then.  In preparation, we set the trusty high chair up and are letting you get used to it.  You seem to like it so far...


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Bo, Do you know... much I love your hands?  I mean I really love your hands.  They're short and chubby and absolutely precious.  I love how you clasp them together and clumsily reach for things.  I love how you take out your paci and frustrate yourself. I don't so much love how you use them as a teething toy.  But overall, they're just the cutest hands in the world to me....