Friday, January 30, 2009

Picture Post

(Since you didn't come here to find out about passwords or see how dumb I am, here's what you really want...)

Karen loaned us her ride-on train yesterday.
Alex loves it already!
Maggie's green ball is in the storage compartment of the train.
We're slowly learning to use utensils. It's a messy process.
Do you recognize the spoon, Kevin & Leanne? Thanks!
Alex's garage sale "bike".
Maggie's rawhide bone is taking a ride.
(Are you getting the idea that Maggie's toys are not just for Maggie? Ha ha!)

Phase 10, anyone?

He has NO CLUE what to do with the straw cup yet, but he likes to play with it.

Using a fork. He had it the right way before I turned to grab the camera.
We load it, he aims it.

How to accomplish a lot without having a baby underfoot.
(Just kidding! Alex put HIMSELF in there, and it's not locked.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Little Heartbeat

I had my first midwife appointment last week Thursday. Mom & Deb came to the rescue to make sure Alex was watched during my appointment - thanks SO MUCH!

I think that using a midwife this time around is going to be a very good thing. She is a very sweet lady, and I look forward to having a little more say in how things go. Well, I suppose in the long run, 'new baby' has more to do with how things go that Mama does, right? ;)

This is the same doctor's office that we used with Alex. They are located just minutes from the hospital, the doctors are always available if needed, and the delivery will be at the same hospital. The difference is that a midwife is a lot less likely to resort to medical intervention. She'll let me go longer without inducing, and will start with more natural methods of inducing. I won't be tied to monitors at the hospital so I'm free to stay out of bed, walk, use the jacuzzi tub, etc. She is there for the whole labor, unlike a doctor who just pops in once in a while & then comes back to deliver. (There are a few other differences, too, but you don't want the details!)

Anyway, the midwife wasn't able to find a heartbeat with doppler, so she kindly offered to use the old, beat-up ultrasound machine. The picture isn't clear, and the machine is barely functioning, but it was enough to see a blurry little blob with a heartbeat. What a sigh of relief. That heartbeat is the best little thing, and seeing our little miracle from God was a special and unexpected treat!

The 'official' due date is August 16th...which means we should have a baby by August 28th, lol! I think I'll just tell people I'm due near the end of August. Then they won't pester me for the last three weeks. Or is that lying? Hmmm.... ;)

By the way, we'll need a new name for the blog in August. Any fun suggestions?

Monday, January 19, 2009

allergy update

Here's what we found out from our pediatrician last week:

Alex's milk allergy is "a blip on the radar", in the words of the pediatrician. Most babies with a milk allergy outgrow it by their first birthday, and it appears that Alex is doing that. Wonderful!

A true (life-threatening) milk allergy is 100 or above. Alex is 0.43, making his allergy very mild. We've started giving him some foods with dairy, but not straight milk. His pediatrician said we can do that next month.

Alex enjoyed some of the delicious mint chocolate chip pie at cousin Joshua's birthday party yesterday. He begged & begged for more, and we've seen no ill effects from that yet...guess he handled the heavy cream in that pie without any trouble!

The allergy testing covered the 7 most common children's allergies, and we learned something that surprised us: Alex is allergic to peanuts!

Again, it's not a horrible allergy, but he's classified in the "moderate" category. A life-threatening peanut allergy is 30. Alex is 1.32, meaning that peanuts are more likely to cause hives/eczema than milk is! We had no clue. So, no peanut products of any kind for Alex until he's at least 2 years old.

If these are our biggest struggles with Alex, we are blessed. Very, very blessed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Birthday Party!

So, despite the fact that I never mailed the invitations, we still managed to have a full house for Alex's first birthday! I think we had 26 people in our living room, wow!

We chose some of Alex's favorite foods - mostaciolli, bread, & green jello, which Alex just LOVED! Grandma S, Aunt Deb, and Aunt Donna helped by bringing salad, jello, and chips. Grandma P made a beautiful cake to match the party decorations.

Alex discovered helium balloons a few weeks ago at CVS, and he's been fascinated with them. We stopped at Hallmark on the day before his party, and filled up Alex's birthday balloon. He just loved it, and he now signs "please" and points to the balloon whenever he wants it. Very cute!

(Typical - my boy never manages to have all of his socks/shoes on at any given time.)

Alex had cake and (soy) ice cream for the first time. He had blood testing for allergies last week Monday, and we're hoping to get the official results on a milk allergy soon. He sure made a mess of his cake, and he seemed to like the cake & ice cream...but he didn't have any amazing response, other than smearing himself with frosting!

He's not blowing out the candle; he's trying to grab the flame! :)

Daddy helped Alex with opening his presents this time. He got spoiled with lots of new clothes for summer/fall/winter...2 pairs of overalls, several cute shirts, a sweatsuit, pants, socks, and a nice warm winter coat for next year. Aunt Diane also sent along a gift card for we can choose some more fun clothes the next time we go to the mall! Alex also received some very nice practical gifts - a straw cup, fork & spoon, and step stool...all things that we will definitely need!

As for toys, he received a floating road with cars & trucks to drive in the tub, more wooden blocks, a jungle themed ring-stacker made of soft animals, a Build-A-Bear (dressed like Alex!), a musical choo-choo train ("Kuck", as Alex calls it), a BIG slide (which he climbs UP rather than sliding down...), and some money to add to his savings account. Hopefully I didn't leave anything off this list! (Oh, he also received a fun fire truck from mommy's friend Karen before the party...because Karen was a little busy having a new baby girl!!)

We chose to skip Alex's regular morning nap, hoping he'd nap right before the party. It didn't quite work that way, as Alex decided he'd rather not sleep...and ended up with only about 35 minutes of nap. We figured he'd be a CRAB, but he was a good boy the whole time! He sure did crash after everyone went home, though! He took a nice nap in my arms almost as soon as the house was quiet...and still managed to go to bed at his usual time & sleep late the next morning! Poor kid was totally worn out! :)

Thank you for spoiling our baby boy, but mostly thanks to all of you for coming and helping us celebrate how Alex has grown and changed in the past year!

(We're working on thank-you cards...hopefully I will actually MAIL those!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who Let My Baby Get Big?

I realize that Alex turned one on December 26th, and I'm just now getting around to posting it in mid-January. There are two reasons...
1) I am in denial. He can't be one. Not possible.
2) We just celebrated his birthday on Sunday.
My baby boy sure has changed a lot in the past year! He is no longer a helpless little bundle in our arms. He has words, signs, expressions, and opinions. He is curious, energetic, and fun. He is a climber, a fast crawler, and a trouble-finder. He makes us laugh every single day.
I cuddled a 6 month old in nursery a few weeks back, and she just seemed so tiny and helpless. Only 6 months ago, that was my Alex? Wow. There are moments that drag, but time sure flies!
So, my big boy, here's a quick "year in review" of some of my favorite photos from your first reverse order, to shrink you ;)
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008 August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 27, 2007

Words at 12.5 months:
  • mama (I'm always Mama)
  • daddy (dah-dee or 'mom', who knows why...)
  • nana
  • grandma (sometimes mamma, sometimes gamma)
  • papa
  • cracker (crahkuh, which really refers to anything he wants to eat)
  • cup-cup (kuh-kuh, not to be confused with cracker)
  • car (kah)
  • truck (kuck)
  • milk (guck)
  • up (bup)
  • bath (but he only said this one night)
  • bye bye (Bah Bah)
  • Maggie (inconsistently, sometimes 'Maggie', sometimes 'puppy')
  • vroom-vroom (voom-voom)
  • Yay (only once in a while)
  • Bob (says it all the time, but it doesn't mean anything to us)
Signs at 12.5 months:
  • milk
  • more (just started yesterday)
  • please (but won't use it at the right time)
  • bye-bye/hi
  • all done

Favorite Foods:

  • graham crackers/teddy grahams
  • club crackers
  • spaghetti/mostaciolli
  • rice
  • froot loops
  • pears
  • bananas
  • applesauce
  • sloppy joe meat
  • jelly on wheat bread
  • still not a big cup-cup fan, but will drink watered-down white grape juice
  • loves spicy foods, strange baby! I love how the baby books tell you not to add spices to a baby's food. They don't know Alex.

Favorite Toys:

  • Fisher Price musical table
  • cars, trucks, and all things with wheels (he's lovin' the new train, Aunt Deb)
  • cell phones & remotes (sigh)
  • musical piano (which he's only allowed to use while I take a shower, so it's a novelty and he lets me take a 20 minute shower!)
  • wood blocks (but only because they go "bang" when you hit them together)
  • He plays with most of his toys, but the above list is definitely getting most of his attention right now.

Favorite Things To Do:

  • Look at the picture of Nana on the fridge & call her by name (20 times a day or more!!)
  • Look at the family pictures hanging in the front hallway and smile at everyone
  • try to play with the dehumidifier when Mama's not looking
  • open the kitchen drawer & pull out all the clean towels & washcloths
  • grab the cordless phone off the end table
  • clap his hands when he hears cheering or sees clapping on TV
  • watch his "Signing Times" video (2 or 3 times a week at most)
  • watch "Yo Gabba Gabba" (1 or 2 times a week at most)
  • crawl around with Daddy
  • turn on/off the CD player in his bedroom
  • climb, even if he has to stack his toys and climb them
  • push a kitchen chair in front of him to walk through the kitchen (or stand outside his walker & push it, or push his musical table while walking, etc.)

  • takes 2 naps a day, about 45 minutes to an hour each
  • sleeps from 8/8:30 PM until 7-ish AM, waking around 5 AM to nurse
  • He is go, go, go all day long
  • He is often complimented for being a very good baby in waiting rooms, restaurants, etc. We'll see how long that lasts!
  • loves to hear stories before naptime
  • loves to dive headfirst off of our laps, off of our bed, etc.
  • curious about everything - must touch it, try it, see it, hold it, etc. Seems to want to know how everything works
  • still allergic to milk, as far as we can tell. He had allergy testing done last week, and we're still waiting on the results, but I'd say hives & eczema are pretty good signs of an allergy
  • 18.6 lbs at one year, smaller than his doctor would like, but blood tests show he is healthy
  • using his 'big boy' car seat, although it's still rear-facing until he hits 20 lbs
  • just started waking happily in the morning, talking in his crib, rather than crying for us
  • loves to grocery shop with Mama, babbling loudly all the way through the store while people watching
  • loves to see babies & kids on TV

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas in a nutshell

It's safe to say that Alex enjoyed his first Christmas! Of course, he has no idea just yet of what Christmas is all about. He loves the tree, ornaments, snowmen, lights, etc. He enjoyed all the time with family, and had fun playing with everyone.

He really didn't care about the paper, surprisingly. The only present that he was excited to unwrap was his toy truck...and that's only after he saw it through the torn paper. He could not WAIT for Mama to get the truck out of the box! (What's with the 7,042 wire ties to keep it in the box? It took AGES to get it out of there while Alex was grabbing at it!)

We celebrated Christmas Eve with a quick dinner at Grandma & Papa's house, then the Christmas Eve service at church. Afterwards, we headed back to Grandma & Papa's house to play cards.

Christmas morning was celebrated at home with stockings, presents, and Guitar Hero. I'd like to say it was just like the images in my head - all warm & cuddly with a yummy breakfast. Nope. Cold cereal, uncombed hair, and casual. That's us. Maybe some year I'll get my act together! ;)

(Guitar Hero has since been unplugged, and we bought Guitar Praise for the computer. I don't recommend Guitar Hero 3. Ever. To anyone. Evil game, seriously.)

Christmas afternoon/evening was spent at Grandma & Grandpa S's house, where we showed off Alex's new onesie. Yummy food, Christmas present for the kiddos in the basement, and then an "upstairs" Christmas for the grown-ups. Donna got a fancy-schmancy massage chair...and she was willing to share it with all of us. Ahhh!

The day after Christmas was ice, ice, ice. It took almost 30 minutes to drive the 3 miles from our house to Grandma & Grandpa P's house. Once there, we had a terrific day together. The slideshow tells you how excited Grandma P was to see August 2009 on her new calendar! :) After a good day of family, card games, yummy food, and presents, we braved the fog and ice to make it back home.

The next day was a P day in the morning and a S pizza/Rock Band night at Aunt Deb's house. We really packed in the parties in 3 days time!

Alex got sufficiently spoiled...and we might just need a bigger house to hold all his fun new toys, games, and books. At least the wagon and sled are outside toys! :)

We are blessed to have such wonderful families, and to have most of our family within an hour or two of our home. We are loved, and we love all of you! :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Our Best Christmas Gift

We had an excellent Christmas, and if I ever finish sorting through all the photos & videos, I might actually post about it. Until then, this will have to do. It's a picture of our favorite Christmas present this year...

Alex wore this shirt to both family Christmas parties to share some exciting news with the family!

This isn't really public knowledge just yet, but since most of you already know, and the few of you who are just hearing the news know how to keep a secret...well, now you know!

There will be a new little baby making his (her?) debut in August 2009. We are THRILLED!!! After 2.5 years of hoping for a baby, we finally got pregnant with Alex. It was definitely easier this time around! God is good!!

We are thankful and very excited...and one of us is nauseous, but that's just part of the experience, right? :)

We hope you all had a terrific Christmas, too!