Monday, June 30, 2008

Six Months Pictures by Mommy

I'm getting Alex's "real" 6 month pictures taken this coming Thursday. In an effort to save myself some money (and have fun, too...) we did some pictures at home this morning. With a white sheet & navy fleece tossed over the back of a chair & natural light from the living room window, this is what we got.

These aren't going to win any awards. They're not as crisp as a studio image. It was a lot of fun, though. Alex even enjoyed most of it. It's obvious when he's in need of a break...and he got breaks when he cried, I promise! It was nice to go at Alex's pace & not be locked into a studio's timeslot.

Anyway, here's some of our fun from this morning:

Do you like the spit up all over his lower lip & chin?

Maggie wasn't really supposed to be in these, but she barged in & Alex loved it.
Why not document the relationship between Alex & Maggie?

My somber little boy

It's awful of me, but I love this picture!

The rest are on my KodakGallery page if you're really curious.
Watch out - you might drown in all the photos I took!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I love CVS!

Once again, I have to thank my friend Karen for introducing me to using CVS to get stuff for free! Today was a good CVS day, and I just have to share. You can tell by what we bought that Keith came along today. We're going camping soon, so there are a few additions to what I'd normally buy.

We bought:
Kingsford Lighter Fluid ~ $4.99
Chrome Grill Basket ~ $4.99
2 Colgate Total toothpastes ~ $2.49 each
1 Neosporin To Go spray ~ $6.49
1 box of bandaids ~ $1.99
Total: $23.44

We spent $3.97 out of pocket!
We received $7 in extra bucks to spend on our next CVS trip.

I don't remember the last time I paid for toothpaste. We get it free at CVS.
Actually, the way it works out, CVS pays me to buy toothpaste.

Keith says that he's going to work extra hard, pay off the house, and then we can live for free on what I get at CVS. Ha! I'm not quite that good.

So, thanks Karen! We definitely have benefited from your advice! *Ü*

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy 6 Month Birthday!

Six months ago today, our world changed...a LOT. That tiny little bundle they placed in our arms is such a special blessing!

These past 6 months have been so special. At times, it's been crazy, exhausting, challenging, confusing, exasperating...but always special. We've had so many reasons to smile and laugh as we watch our little guy grow and change.

At 6 months, Alex is:

  • sitting up independently
  • rolling both ways
  • cutting his first tooth
  • laughing easily
  • playing independently for short times
  • enjoying solid foods (pureed or very tiny pieces of "real" food)
  • sleeping through the night (for now...)
  • waking happily in the morning and playing in his crib
  • recognizing his name
  • taking in everything around him
  • loving the outdoors
  • petting his puppy
  • pouring sippy cups of water on his high chair tray
  • learning that crying gets him attention
  • eating paper whenever he gets hold of it
  • still loving diaper changes
  • learning to splash in the bath
  • a little attached to mama, but not afraid of strangers
  • favorite toys: ladybug busy bead toy, plastic/rubber keys, anything he can bang on his high chair tray
I wrote this on the 26th, but didn't get a chance to add pictures. His 6 month appt was on the 27th, so I'll can add his weight and height now. At 6 months, Alex weighs 16 lbs, 14 oz. He's 26.5 inches long, and his head circumference is 17 5/8".

Then and now...

Happy 6 months, my big boy!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Go Railcats!

Friday night was a US Steel employee night at the Railcats game, so Keith was able to get $5 tickets. He waited until the last minute to buy them, not knowing what the weather would hold. It turned out to be a very nice night, and we all enjoyed Alex's first trip to the ball park.

With all the activity and loud noises, I thought Alex might be scared or upset. He didn't cry the entire time we were there...from 6:30 - after 10:30 PM. I'm impressed, little boy! :)

He loved looking around, taking everything in. He watched the traffic outside the stadium, the colorful scoreboard, the people around us, the mascots walking around...everything. He got sleepy around the 6th inning, napped in Mama's arms, and woke up in time to see the fireworks show after the game. Amazingly, the noise of the fireworks didn't startle him one bit.

He slept the whole way home, and slept the whole night once we got home. Since he hasn't been sleeping well for the past week, this was a much-needed night of rest. Maybe we should take him to Railcats games more often! ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Well, It's Official :(

Alex had some diaper issues that led us to believe something was wrong. Lab tests ruled out most possiblities. When the pediatrician decided it was "just one of those things", I couldn't accept that as an answer. Internet searching led me to the conclusion that we might be dealing with a dairy allergy.

This is a milk protein allergy. It's different from lactose intolerance. His system mistakenly believe that the milk protein is harmful and tries to fight it. This causes an allergic reaction that leads to (among other things) runny/bloody stools, eczema, and bright green stools - all things that Alex has dealt with.

Keith & I decided that, right conclusion or not, it couldn't hurt if I removed dairy from my diet for a few weeks to see what happened. That was far trickier than I thought it would be! Dairy products are in EVERYTHING from brownies to salad dressings to hamburger buns to candy bars to spaghetti sauce. Even Cool Whip (a non-dairy product, according to the label) contains dairy. Go figure. I've been learning to read labels very carefully!

Anyway, after trying the no-dairy diet, Alex's eczema cleared up entirely within a few days. His diaper issues cleared up a few days later. We had no problems at all since then.

Over the weekend, I chose to purposely eat some dairy products and see what happened. I just found out about 30 minutes ago with the nastiest diaper I've ever changed. We also had some serious sleep issues the past few nights, and Alex hasn't been nursing well. He acts as if his tummy hurts. I'm wondering if these things are due to my adding dairy back into my diet.

I still need to go over this with the pediatrician at Alex's 6 month appt, but I think our own little 2 week test has yielded some pretty definite results. On the bright side, most infants outgrow this by about 2 years of age. Let's hope so!!

While I'm glad we found the problem, I'm a cheese-lovin', dairy-lovin', ice cream eatin' chocoholic! It's a good thing I love this little boy...'cuz I'm giving up all the yummy stuff for him! At least chocolate syrup is dairy-free...and it makes soy ice cream a tolerable alternative! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

random photos

playing with Papa
Derek & Aunt Deb babysat while Mama got a haircut
Alex is currently fascinated with feet. Any feet.
Sitting up :)
Fascinated with what we eat or drink, especially straws

Happy Fathers Day, Daddy!

Happy Fathers Day to an excellent daddy! Thanks for all you do!

Looking back...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Really Rolling

Well, the day has come. It's time to put away everything that's not safe for baby. Alex has discovered that rolling means MOBILITY, and he likes it!

Last week Friday, Keith put Alex on the floor under his play gym while we were packing for the trip to the Dells. I walked in the room, found Alex under his jumperoo, and wondered why Keith had set the baby in such a strange place.

Yesterday, I set Alex on the floor under his play gym while switching some laundry to the dryer, walked into the living room, and found him smooshed against the wall.

Today, I set him in the middle of the living room floor & watched him roll all the way to his toys in less than 2 minutes.

My boy is getting big! He's sitting up in a wobbly sort of way. He's starting to use consonants in his talk (ma ma ma, ba ba ba) although he's still mostly interested in practicing his vowels (eeeeee, eeeeeee, aaaaayyy, aaaaaayyy). Now he's travelling across rooms in no time at all. Somebody slow down this process, please! Before I know it, he's going to be a grown up!
Here are a few more recent Alex activities:

Sitting up on his bear chair

Alex likes sweet potatoes! Just this week, I switched to giving him solid foods twice a day.
Oh, and HE wants to hold the spoon.
He's had: apples, bananas, sweet potatoes & peas. Next come pears and carrots.

Remember when he'd look at the mirror when I set him on the bathroom counter?
Now he wants to play with the faucet.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

There's a FISH swimming in my DRIVEWAY!

Well, today has been an adventure. Storms came through last night. We were without power (and sump pump) for 6 hours during the night. The lightning was like a constant strobe light, keeping us awake until after 1 AM.

Amazingly, Alex slept through all of the lightning, thunder, and rain. When it finally quieted down & we were able to fall asleep, Alex decided (at 2 AM) that it would be a good time for a midnight snack. He was up again at 4:30, and the power came on while I was up with him. I heard the sump pump kick in, but thought nothing of it since we'd had storms.

Keith got up for work at 6 AM, but quickly came back to the bedroom where I was still dozing. He woke me to give me the good news & bad news. The good news? The backyard, which normally floods in storms, was dry. The bad news? The view from the front window was not as pleasant.

Keith stayed home from work, knowing that his little car wouldn't get very far in this water. A few neighbors tried. The ones with SUVs and trucks were more successful. One neighbor with a small car had water coming in through the bottom of the doors, and his feet were getting wet. He did make it, but I just can't imagine it being very good for the car!

I guess there are many flooded roads in the area, but we've been told that our subdivision is among the worst. A nearby farmer has a gate (illegal!) across the ditch to control the water that gets to his fields. He had the gate closed, which caused the water to flood in our neighborhood. We, along with most of our neighbors, have been calling the county...but the county claims that it's not their job to keep the farmer from gating a public ditch.

It's slowly receding...I'm marking the driveway every hour or two...but I doubt we're driving anywhere today. Anyway, here are some pictures of our mess/adventure in Lake Brookwood (formerly known as Brookwood Drive)

Our house, probably around 8 AM

Keith's footprints cleaned the neighbor's driveway.

(I wore shoes...ya never know what you'll find under the water!)

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail...

They never mentioned floods ;)

I've been marking the driveway throughout the day to show the receding water.
As I marked it at 11, a FISH swam past my feet!
He was green and about 5 inches long.

Nothing like a little water to get the neighbors out! ;)
Hunter, Donovan, and Prada the Puppy

Preston was SOAKED from head to toe!

Ellie made a boat. It actually floated down the road.

Road? Did I say road?

We're worried about what would happen if more rain comes soon.
We're wondering if we built in the wrong place.
We have absolutely no desire to move.
We're not panicking or over-reacting, but realizing this could prevent us from selling.
And we're also having fun enjoying our wet, wet world.