Sunday, December 20, 2009

8 month update

So little one is now 8 months old. Wow, time sure does fly!

He is now 23.5 lbs & his length & head circumference are exactly the same as last month.

When I wrote the last blog I remember stating that he was still taking 4-5 bottles/day. Immediately after writing that he never took 5 bottles in a day again. He even dropped to 3 bottles some days. He is now currently taking 3 bottles of formula, one with each meal & he also has a bottle of juice once each day.

He is still trying to crawl. He now does this jumping thing while he's sitting up & has learned how to scoot himself around quite quickly this way. He does stand independently in both the walker & the jumper. And in my lap he will pull himself to standing, just holding lightly to my blouse. He doesn't seem to realize just how strong he actually is.

Just this past week he has started becoming fearful of things, which is odd. He is very afraid of the vacuum cleaner, daddy's power drill, & the hose (when it's spraying water). I recall being a very afraid child, but I had always assumed there was some explanation for it that I couldn't recall. Perhaps there wasn't & perhaps little one is going to follow in my footsteps. I shall have to look into how to best deal with this.

He also has 2 bottom teeth coming in. It's been hurting him quite a bit. I feel really bad for him. He was being really cranky & then I started using orajel after each meal. He's been a little better, except at night. He wakes quite often crying in pain. Today I went out & bought the stronger nighttime orajel for babies. I put some on when I put him to bed for the night--we shall see how well it works. If he does wake I have to remember to reapply instead of stuffing a pacifier in his mouth, which is hard for me to remember when I'm so sleepy & confused.

He is still wearing size 12 month clothes. We somehow ended up with way too many 12 month clothes, so I guess it's good that we are getting lots of use out of them. I am planning to keep him in them until he absolutely can't fit in them anymore. I have a few 18 month clothes & a few 24 month clothes. I was already thinking on my own & then someone suggested it as well, so now I'm really gonna do it: to skip a size each time we buy clothes, so they last twice as long. Because if I keep in a size until they absolutely won't fit anymore the next size you move him into isn't even a little bit big on him, & you don't get much use out of them. So I'll probably pool together the 18 month & 24 month clothes for now & then move to 2T & skip 3T, moving right to 4T. I'm just not sure if that will work with pants....the bigger size might be too long for him.

For Christmas we got him a sweatshirt, a swing for outside, hand puppets, & a learning station thing that teaches alphabet, numbers, colors, etc in both English & SPANISH. I was totally sold when hubby told me it did Spanish too. I definitely want him to grow up knowing Spanish. And it's not just because I married into a hispanic family, I think it's just very necessary in Southern California now. It will definitely be helpful in any job he'll ever have. And I think it's much easier to learn it growing up than to try to learn it later on. I want him to also learn how to read & write Spanish. I've known a lot of people who grew up with Spanish speaking families & they can speak & understand spoken Spanish, but they cannot read or write it. So the Spanish Your Baby Can Read DVD will help with that & I have several bilingual books for him too.

That's all the updates I can think of right now.............

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Your Baby Can Read" update #2

This Friday we move to the next DVD--this one will be viewed twice daily for 2 months . So I figured it was time for another update--as a lot of people asked me to keep them posted on this & I don't want them to think I've forgotten.

There's just not much to report I am sorry to say. Like I said before, it normally takes 6 months before you see any signs of learning. And we are now only 3 months into the program.

Things pretty much remain the same as the last time I posted an update. He clearly recognizes certain specific people in the DVDs. So I know he is remembering what he is viewing. He still responds to "arms up". He still enjoys the DVDs & flashcards, but is less interested in the books. I am hoping that in time that will change & he will enjoy the books as well.

That's really all there is to report at this time.

Update: ok last night it occurred to me that I've never shown him flashcards or books until AFTER he has viewed the video. So I pulled out the flashcards & book that go with the next DVD last night & showed them to lil J. He had the most confused look on his face & he kept looking at me, as if he wanted an explanation. Then I went on with his other two sets of flash cards & books & he was totally cool with it. It would appear to me that he clearly is remembering & recognizing words, since he reacted that way to words he has never seen before.......

Friday, November 27, 2009

7 month update

So lil J is now 7 months old. His length is 28.5", his head circumference is 18", & his weight is 21.6 lbs. He's still wearing size 12 month clothes for now, but I can see they are shrinking (LOL) on a daily basis. I gotta go shopping for the next size up pretty soon.

He had a little tummy virus type thing this past month & he lost a little weight during that time so he now weighs exactly what he weighed last month. For all 3 of those measurements he is at 75-90% percentile. This is a big jump up for the head circumference (which I am pleased to see) & a drop for his weight (which I am also pleased to see). His length was never at either extreme really.

This month I am introducing meat: chicken & turkey. If you will recall he started on solids at 4 months of age--first rice cereal & veggies. At 5 months I added in fruits. At 6 months I added in lentils & a few other beans. So now at 7 months I am adding meat. I think next month I'll be adding finger foods & then at 9 months he goes to a slightly chunkier texture of baby food. Beyond that I don't know yet......I'm really learning as I go. So he eats 2-3 "solid" meals per day & still drinks 4-5 8 oz bottles of formula each day.

He is very verbal these days--always making little noises & verbalizations. He is really trying to communicate with us & the dogs.

He is still trying to crawl & REALLY close to doing so well, but he hasn't quite mastered it yet. The only time he ever pulls himself to standing is when he's on my lap. he enjoys this a lot (as do I).

His mood is generally great unless he's tired or hungry. I am really in awe of how good of a child he really seems to be. I certainly hope it stays this way. That's not to say that he NEVER has his bad moments--he does (don't we all?), but it's not the norm & not all the time.

He still is doing the "your baby can read" program & is still enjoying watching the DVDs & he really loves the flashcards. The books are "just ok" it seems. He has a few other "touch & feel" type books that he enjoys--he enjoys touching different textures a lot. He still loves watching palm trees blow in the wind, the fishtank, & the dogs. He still loves his jumperoo, but now spends A LOT of time just playing on the floor (rolling around & trying to crawl). And from time to time he goes in the walker, mostly on the weekends when hubby is working outside--I put him in the walker & put his little shoes on & we head outside to hang out with daddy.

I really can't think of any other updates at this time...........

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 month update

So little one is 6 months old now. He is 21.6 lbs, 27 inches long, & head is 17 inch circumference.

He has outgrown his carrier car seat. We installed the free car seat I had gotten when I took a car seat safety class, but it was really unsafe & scaring both of us. So we went & bought one & we absolutely LOVE it (& Joseph likes it better than the other one--honestly!). This one has this amazing secure latch system that makes it soooo easy & fast to install in the car. And it converts to a booster seat when he reaches that stage. A real bargain & we are really thrilled with it.

He really loves eating & trying new things. He REALLY loves his fruit (just like dad!), but he likes most food. I introduced lentils this month. And he still continues with his veggies & fruits.

He has given up his morning nap most days, which has it's pros & cons. Allow me to explain. Pro: if I have errands to run I like to run them early & get them over with. So I normally have to wait for him to finish his nap before I can go & it always ends up being way later than I would like. Con: while I'm showering & drying my hair he isn't napping, won't stay in the swing, wants to play in the living room, but I can't keep an eye on him well (especially when the hair dryer is going) so that part of it is a little challenging. But he still takes his afternoon nap & evening nap & goes to bed around 9 pm most days. He is still sleeping through the night well too. Occasionally he'll wake & not be able to fall back to sleep & I"ll just put him in the swing & off to sleep he goes.

He is still working on crawling. Still hasn't mastered it completely. And he sits up really well if we put him there, but isn't getting there yet by himself. I am told he has to master that before he can crawl. So it should be pretty soon I think....but I'm in no rush, I can't imagine chasing after him all day, LOL. He still loves his walker & his jumper.

We were going to take a 6 month photo this past weekend, but were nonstop busy & didn't get to it, so hopefully this weekend we will get one. My stepdaughter turned 22 on the day Joseph turned 6 months. For the past few years she has chosen to have a small dinner with just us (as opposed to getting together with the WHOLE family) & that's what we chose to do once again & took her out to dinner at a great restaurant. It was a wonderful & memorable night for all of us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Your Baby Can Read" update

A lot of people asked me to keep them posted on this program. First let me explain how it works.

It's a set of 5 DVDs & each DVD has a book & set of flashcards that go with it. You are supposed to show the DVD twice daily for the time specified in the schedule (some are for one month & some are for two months) & review the book & flashcards daily. Each time you move to the next DVD you are still supposed to show the previous ones at least once or twice each week. The current one is always shown twice daily.

The program is designed to be started at 3 months of age (or when they start tracking objects with their eyes). I started it 2 days prior to turning 5 months. Dr. Titzer (the guy who created this) states that with young infants usually 5-6 months will go by with NO indication of learning at all. And then you will suddenly start to see signs that the baby is actually learning. He also says that the first 50 words learned take the longest. Once they learn 50 words or so things really start speeding up in the learning.

Before I actually bought the program I went online looking for negative stuff about it. Mostly I found people arguing about "whole word" learning vs. "phonics" learning. People who favor phonics language learning didn't like this program. (Although Dr. Titzer states it does incorporate some phonics in the program) BUT I must add that "I" personally learned via the whole world method & I always excelled in reading & writing. So I made the choice to disregard those folks' opinions & go with this program.

I usually show him the DVD while he's drinking a bottle. It's a good time for him to sit & be calm & actually watch it. And he does enjoy watching it. This weekend will be one month since we started & we will be able to move to the next DVD.

Having said all that I can say that in the beginning Joseph wasn't very interested & his interest in it (both DVD & book/flashcard) has grown tremendously over the past few weeks.

I can also say that when I tell him "arms up" (one of the things on the DVD) he does put his arms up. (I tell him this when I'm going to pick him up). And when I go through the book with him the last word is "wave" & every time I say it he puts his right hand up as if he was going to wave good bye, but he doesn't actually wave it yet.

I know that's not much of a report, but considering I was expecting to not see ANY signs of learning for 6 months I am really encouraged by this.

I will definitely be posting more updates later on. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 9, 2009

5.5 month update

So little one is about 5 & 1/2 months old now.

He is now eating 3 meals each day. He's been through tons of fruits now (after a lot of veggies) & seems to love them all. I make about 95% of his meals myself & keep a couple of jars around for making life easier if I have to feed him outside the home or just to give myself an occasional break. If I had more freezer space it would be a much easier task to make a lot of food at a time, but I have very little freezer space to store the food, so I am making food quite often. I do enjoy it though & love giving him so much variety & knowing that I'm giving him healthy foods. So far the only jarred food I've bought is "earth's best" brand & they are organic. He's had bananas & pears from them & liked them both. I was surprised to find that it's cheaper at Mother's market than it is at WalMart. There are a couple of other organic brands, though, I'm gonna check them out too. They all have no additives, which is good. The varieties of food get much more interesting at the 6 month mark.

So little one has been a big boy since very early on. He is still wearing size 9 month clothes for now, but some of them are already starting to show signs of almost not fitting (the snaps in the crotch & the length of legs in the pjs)--so I don't think he'll be in this size too much longer, maybe one more month at best.

So most of his stuff he has has a max weight of 20-25 lbs on it. He is now over 21 pounds, might be 22. His bouncy seat has a max of 20 lbs, but I still use this seat for feeding him bottles. It doesn't appear unsafe to me, but I am watching closely. His jumper has a max weight of 25 lbs, but it still appears safe for now, I am watching closely.

His car seat has a max weight of 22 lbs & his legs are sticking way out of it & his head is to the top. Now this is one product that I'm not gonna push my luck on because it is involving car safety & his safety if we get into a car accident. So my dilemma is that if we move him to the next car seat (which doesn't have a carry handle, stays in the vehicle, & fits him up to age 4) is that he needs to sit in grocery carts. Hubby doesn't think he can do it, but I do. This weekend we're gonna give it a try & see how he does & swap out the car seats. I do have a cover to put in the cart to protect from all the germs & it also goes in restaurant highchairs too.

My other big issue has been the swing. It had a max weight of 25 lbs on it. In the past months I kept asking hubby what we were gonna do when he maxed out the weight on the swing. We still use the swing quite often. For naps & if he wakes during the night & can't fall back to sleep easily. So even though he's not 25 lbs YET (close, but not quite) the swing was barely swinging now, it's just too much weight for the little motor on it.

Sooooo when we went to buy him a walker (& we got one that goes up to 30 lbs, it was the highest weight we could find) we also took a look at the swings. Some went up to 20 lbs, most went up to 25 lbs. There were a few that went up to 30 lbs. And then we found ONE (only one) that goes up to 40 lbs. Not only did it go up to 40 lbs, but it was the cheapest swing they had & the seat comes out & can be either an infant seat (great for feeding) or a toddler rocker. We couldn't believe what a great deal this was so we grabbed it & the next day we returned the old one (that was soooo noisey & only had one speed & was barely swinging now). Also a plus: the old one would auto shut off after 2 hours (to save on battery I guess)--which was a real pain at night when we were asleep, we had to remember to wake up & restart it. This one doesn't turn off ever, until you turn it off. And the batteries haven't died yet! Really great product IMO. I still don't know why they can't make a swing that gives you the option of plugging in or using battery though.

So he loves the new swing (even the position of the seat looks so much more comfy than the old one & this one plays music too) & the walker. So far he only walks backwards (& turns) in the walker.

I usually start his day with breakfast, then a bath, then a bottle. Then I put him in the swing for a nap. When he wakes he goes in the rainforest gym & crawls around. Once he's worn himself out there he goes in the jumper. Somewhere in there he'll have a bottle & then continue with one of those activities. Then hell take a nap. Then he'll wake for lunch. Then he'll have a bottle & then go in the walker. Later on dinner, another bottle & later bedtime. And sometimes I squeeze a walk in there or another outdoor activity too. That's just an average day. But without all three of those (gym, jumper, walker) he tends to get bored. The walker has been a great help & I love that he can go outside in it too!! He soooo loves the outdoors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baby Dedication

So we had our pastor, Greg Laurie, dedicate little one on Sunday.

I acknowledge to God on a daily basis in prayer that this is His child, not mine. So in essence the dedication doesn't really mean much more than this & so it really isn't a big deal, but yet somehow it felt like a big deal to us.

We were thrilled that our 21 year old & 15 year old joined us & even moreso that they joined us on stage as a family. They felt awkward cuz of the age gap between them & little one.

We worked hard to have a nice get together afterwards. Lots of food prep--I made a prime rib, coleslaw, beans, homemade salsa, & stuffed chicken breasts (that hubby bbq'd) It's usually a 50/50 situation when we make food, but this time hubby was busy doing other stuff while I was working as fast as I could in the kitchen. We had ran out of time on Saturday. We even had one more stop to make (Costco) & they were closed, so we didn't have quite as many dishes as we were planning to.

Hubby & I were shocked to receive gifts & cards at the bbq. We didn't even know cards for baby dedication existed...........we certainly didn't have a get-together to try to get gifts, we were just excited & wanted to share with family & friends in our excitement.

All in all it was a great day. Next Sunday when we go back to church we are supposed to pick up a DVD of the event. I have only 2 photos so far that turned out--there seemed to be lots of technical difficulties on the camera side of things. We brought our camera but forgot to give it to someone to have them take pics for us. Our 21 year old's boyfriend brought his camera but they didn't turn out, all full of lines & blurry. My brother's camera had dead batteries...........I'm hoping someone else will share with us the pics they got............

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 month update

So lil J is growing up fast, fast, fast--as all children do. He is now 5 months old.

For some reason I have a really hard time getting an accurate length on him & don't have that info yet, but he is 20.8 pounds now. And his head measures about 17 inches now. I am waiting to get a length before I plug it into the percentile calculator like I did last time.

He now rolls over on his tummy (quite often) & occasionally will roll back onto his back when he's tired of his tummy--but most of the time he'll lay there on his tummy & scream about being tired of it. He sits up well when you put him there, he just can't do the sitting up part himself yet. He still tries to crawl & gets frustrated because he can't yet. He's still lacking strength in lifting his chest area & overall coordination. He does scoot himself around a lot on his tummy though.

He makes more & more "verbalizations" all the time. One recent one is a coughing type sound. I told hubby to just ignore it & he will eventually stop it. The more you encourage sounds the more he makes them & for the most part I encourage them all, except this one--it almost sounds like he's choking. Hubby was trying to tell him no & discipline him for it at first, to try to teach him to not do it. But it wasn't working & I told hubby I feel he's still getting attention for making the sound, which is what he's looking for, whether negative or positive, it's still attention. So he agreed & we now both ignore it.

It is amazing to me how at such a young age I can clearly see that he wants parental approval. He seeks to please us & loves praise & encouragement in whatever he does & will do it even more if he sees that we like it & are happy about it.

We have started the "Your Baby Can Read" program & also the Spanish program they have as well. The first few times I ran the DVD he wasn't too interested (the English one that is, he does enjoy the Spanish one a lot cuz it has a lot of sound effects), but now he's starting to really watch it (as long as he's not sleepy, then he'll just fall asleep).

He's wearing size 9 month clothes, except for a few of his pants/shorts--some of these are still 6 month & fitting him.

He's doing really well on solids. For his 4th month I fed him solids once per day--lunchtime. Now for his 5th month I have added on breakfast along with lunch. So far it's just rice cereal for breakfast & then I vary the lunch. Today he's gonna eat carrots & if he likes it I'll give it to him for a few days & then I'm ready to start him on some fruits. And I made some millet puree last week--my book on making your own baby food says that millet is great to mix with fruit so that's what I'm planning to do with it.

He's really fighting his nap times most of the time. He screams bloody murder about it. Hubby & I cannot seem to reach an agreement on this. I feel (& have read in all my books on parenting that I've been reading) that you need to let them cry it out & eventually they'll see that it's pointless to do so & will stop. But hubby wants to run to him every second he fusses or cries. I am praying that we can somehow come to an agreement on this topic or else we're never going to get anywhere. I feel like I have a very structured week & then on the weekend chaos breaks out cuz daddy does things so differently than I do. I'm sure we're not the first or only couple to go through this, but it sure is tough. I told hubby he needs to call Focus on the Family & speak with the counselors there & when he hears them tell him what I'm telling him maybe then he'll listen. I don't know what else to do.........

That's all the updates I can think of for now. Hubby is always telling me to be careful when I talk about what little one is doing--he says other parents often get offended & feel like you're bragging about your kid. Perhaps I should point out that I don't say any of this in a bragging sort of way. I am just in awe cuz I've never witnessed a baby develop before. I'm not saying my kid is better or faster or slower than any other--they are all different. I'm just in awe of the whole overall process, that's all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

4.5 month update

So lil J is about 4 & 1/2 months now. There seems to be lots of rapid changes lately.

A few weeks ago he was turning on his side & then all of a sudden he was able to turn over completely & he is obsessed with this now (but I have to supervise cuz he tries to crawl & he'll get tired & start screaming until he is breathless)--so leaving him in his rainforest gym when I'm out of the room is out of the question these days.

He's doing really well with eating. He doesn't care much for peas--I still have some prepared--I think I'll mix them in with cereal or something. He'll eat them, but I'd rather make it more to where he likes it I think.

He's starting to really fight his naps these days, so he spends a lot of time in the swing (cuz if I put him in the crib when he's fighting it he'll just put himself on his tummy & crawl to the end of the crib where he can't crawl anymore & cry about it).

He goes in the jumper a couple of times each day--he likes it & it helps to use up some of that energy he's always full of.

Hubby & I are planning to get a walker/exersaucer type thing pretty soon. We really feel like we need another option for him these days & think he'd really enjoy that.

I started going into the pool with him again today & plan to do more of it. I enjoy it, he enjoys it, & he really wears himself out in there & naps really well after it.

In the mornings I've been setting him up with a movie while I work out & shower. I had wanted to put on Prince of Egypt, BUT can't find it.........so for a while it was Lady & the Tramp (cuz he really likes dogs) but then I put Dumbo (he has some toy elephants he likes too) & then Oliver & Company. Today I was at WalMart buying baby formula & saw a Veggie Tales movie so I got it. I'm really excited to be able to play that one for him. I still really wish I had the "Your Baby Can Read" program & could be showing him that instead in the mornings............I need a way to raise $200 to be able to get that..........

I had resisted encouraging him to watch TV up until recently. He was VERY interested in TV when he was a little younger & I kept trying to get him to not look at it. I didn't want him to get so accustomed to it. Hubby didn't see it as a bad thing. I was just worried about instilling the habit at such a young age. But there's no other way to keep him preoccupied while I'm showering now......and I really would rather him watch a DVD than to sit there & scream cuz he's lonely. I do have to admit that I watched A LOT of TV as a kid--way more than I should have I am sure. And I turned out ok & still prefer books to TV any day. So I guess I shouldn't worry so much. And if I make it a forbidden thing then he's REALLY gonna be even more interested in it than he already is.

He recently started wearing size 9 month clothes. I always try to have clothes the next size up for when he needs them. So I went today to Carter's & got some 12 month clothes. They had soooo much cute stuff (& such great prices too & they always give me coupons)--that really is my FAVE store these days! I'm estimating that he'll move up into size 12 months somewhere around late November/Early December. The size 12 month pjs have rubber traction soles on the feet, I hadn't seen that yet, who knows, maybe he'll be needing that by then!!

Every time I go to Carter's it seems to be the same gal working there & she always remembers us & is amazed at how big little one is getting & how big of sizes he is wearing for his age (but I checked their size guide & based on his weight & length 9 month is where he should be). She was telling me today that she can't wait to see him come in walking instead of in the stroller!!

Speaking of people knowing him, I am so pleased with our nursery at Church. On Sundays there's two women (might be mother & daughter) that LOVE little one. They always look for him as they come in & missed him the one day he skipped (when he was sick & we took him into the overflow with us instead of the nursery so he wouldn't get other babies sick). Last Sunday the younger one of the two took him while I was still in line & when I got to the counter & was filling out the paperwork the older one told me that someone else had gotten him last week & they held him the whole time (she said this like she couldn't believe the nerve of them, LOL), so she wanted to make sure she got him this week (she said she kept complaining that someone stole her baby, LOL!). It's so nice to hear that. But they have been watching him since he was 2 weeks old. And on Monday nights he has gotten to know those women & the one lady is always carrying little one around no matter what she's doing in there. After our Bible study I always peek through the window to see what little one is doing & he's always in her arms. One week there was a bunch of little ones in there & some were crying, etc, but she still had little one in her arms. And I've seen her handing back people's diaper bags, etc with little little one in her arms. She never wants to give him up to anyone else working in there. It's nice to know that he is well taken care of & that they like having him.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeding updates

So the lil J is a little more than 4 months old now.

I read that solids should be started somewhere between 4-6 months of age. I was watching him for signs of being ready. We saw him watching intently as we ate. And we saw him opening his mouth as we were taking bites of food--he looked like a baby bird waiting for us to drop a worm in there, LOL! And his appetite was really wacky--has been ever since his cold.

So we decided to give it a go. We started him on rice cereal. It's made by "Earth's Best" brand, it's made from organic brown rice. I thought he did really well at his first feeding. He's shown no objection to the rice cereal. I have a book on making your own baby food (which I've been planning to do) & it recommends starting with rice cereal & then barley & then oat & then moving to veggies.

Well I looked & looked & couldn't find a barley cereal. I was just gonna skip it & go with the oat (also made by Earth's Best), but then it occurred to me that I could just make my own. I personally LOVE barley & always have it in the house, so I cooked some barley & pureed it with baby formula. I made 7 servings & froze them. I thaw one daily & feed it for lunch. He eats one ounce of cereal for lunch. (I know I read somewhere that you shouldn't make your own cereal cuz it's not iron fortified BUT I honestly don't get why everyone is quite so obsessed with the iron for babies........I mean there's so much iron in his formula that his poop is green, so I certainly don't think he's iron deficient; I don't know, I just see this sort of stuff regarding nutrition a lot & I have to wonder..........I mean ages ago babies certainly didn't have all this iron supplementing going on & they obviously lived............I don't know, perhaps I'm mistaken & there's a really good reason that I'm just not aware of, I'm certainly not saying my stance is right here, I haven't really done research on it, haven't had the time, but I don't think I'm gonna hurt my son by giving him ONE cereal that isn't iron fortified, that's all I'm sayin')

So while I was making the barley I also made peas for him & froze those as well. But after the week of barley I'll probably do a week of oat before the veggies, like the book recommends.

Beyond that I don't have any plans yet........not sure yet when to move to 2 meals per day.........I'll have to go through the book again, I'm sure it'll say........I do know that it says feeding right now is really just practice & experimenting with textures & tastes. The majority of their nutrition for the first year should be coming from breastmilk or formula.

I've been pretty amazed with him for a while now. I've discovered that he's not picky at all, thank God. He will take his formula at any temperature, he does not care. And when he's sick he will suck down anything I give him--sage tea, grapefruit seed extract, advil, etc.

And just today I was eating hummus with my lunch & he was watching me & opening his mouth like the baby bird. I dipped my finger in the hummus & let him suck on it. At first he made a face like he wasn't too sure about it. But then suddenly he smiled huge & opened his mouth more & more. I let him finish sucking it off my finger & after he was done he was literally squealing with delight. It was REALLY cute. So so far it appears he has mommy's tastes--barley & hummus being faves!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Neti Pot

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Ok, so I bought a neti pot quite some time ago. I have the exact one that is shown in the first link here. I bought it at a Henry's Farmer"s Market I believe (possibly Whole Foods Market, but pretty sure it was at Henry's) I had heard a little bit about it, but was very afraid to use it. I had a fear of breathing in water with it. Wasn't sure how it worked. So then a week or two ago I stumbled across an Oprah episode (I promise you I don't normally watch it) where there was some doc on there & he was promoting the neti pot & had someone demonstrating it's use. He also explained exactly how it worked & the path the flow travelled. Hearing this info made me less afraid, but I still didn't feel like I needed to use it. On this show they claimed it was great for people with sinus problems, allergies, head colds, etc.

Low & behold I am now fighting a little head cold. So I busted out my neti pot, put some salt & grapefruit seed extract in it & added lukewarm water & tried it out. After I was done I blew my nose well in tissue. Then I followed up with a colloidial silver nasal spray & throat spray & grapefruit seed extract ear drops. I did thiss yesterday & again today & have to admit I'm feeling a lot better, although I do still have a slight scratchy throat.

So if you have sinus issues, allergies, head colds, etc, I highly recommend you get a neti pot. You insert it into one nostril, breathe through your mouth, tilt your head to the side until you feel it go up into the sinus & then out the other nostril. You can do one pot per nostril, but I just did half a pot per nostril. You can just use regular table salt by the way. And you don't have to add grapefruit seed extract, but it's a great natural antibiotic, that's why I did.

I suppose I should get a pic of myself using the neti pot & post it here, would have to get hubby to take that, LOL!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 month update

So the lil J one is 4 months now (well tomorrow technically).

He has lost one pound--is now 17.8 lbs. His length (it always amuses me how at this age it's called "length" & later on it'll be "height") is still 25.5". His head circumference is 16.5". I plugged these into a percentile calculator (to see how he measures up with other kids his age) & for weight he is between percentile 75 & 90. For length he is between percentile 50 & 75. For head circumference (how they monitor brain development) he is between percentile 25 & 50. Now up until just recently I never understood these so-called "percentiles" so allow me to 'splain for others who also might not know about them. To say he is between percentile 75 & 90 means he weighs more than 75% of kids his age, but less than 90% of kids his age. I'm a little concerned about the head circumference percentile, am still concerned about the possibility of brain damage due to circumstances at the time of his delivery, BUT he seems VERY bright & aware & smart to me (& Hubby) for his age. We shall continue to monitor, but will not know for sure until age 3 we are told.

His cold passed easily except for the congestion, that lasted about 2 weeks total. I continued giving the acerola powder in his bottles & having him breathe in steam (in the bathroom with the hot water running) daily. That seemed to help a lot.

His appetite has been off ever since he got the cold & it still hasn't fully returned to normal (or what it was prior to the cold) yet, so I'm sure that's why he's lost a pound.

He moves a lot now. I can lay him down (in his crib or gym) & he rotates all around. Occasionally I put him in his jumperoo & he only lasts about 10 minutes in there for now. But the other day he was really fussy & didn't want his gym or his bouncy chair, so I tried the jumperoo & he was actually jumping (he usually just sits there & stares at the lights) & he actually made his way all the way around (the seat spins all the way around & there are little stations of toys all the way around). He played briefly with each station (actually grabbing & playing) while jumping & turning himself & once he made it back to the beginning spot he was tired of it, but it bought me about 20 minutes of time that I needed to do some house work.

He also turns onto his side all the time when he's laying down. He hasn't yet rolled over onto his tummy, but likes moving onto his side. I'm sure the next step will be to roll over.

In his very early days he really liked being on his tummy. This is how he wanted to sleep & he often played this way too. He even crawled his way out of his gym once while I was napping. But for the past couple of months he HATES being on his tummy. Today I grabbed a horseshoe shaped pillow (just one of those travel neck pillows) & am using it to prop him up on his tummy to play. He did pretty good on it. I REALLY want one of those boppy pillows, but they are way too much money.

As for me--I changed up my workout routine a in the last two weeks. I am now doing 4 days of weight lifting (Mon-Thurs) & then a one hour stretch (Fri) & I take the weekend off. My workouts are all 60-90 minutes long. I felt I needed more a challenge, so I am doing harder & longer workouts & am working out more days too. I still have 11 pounds to lose....am getting impatient regarding that. But my abs are looking better & better all the time. So long as the fat I see on my abs & thighs goes away & I can fit in my clothes well then I can let the number I see on the scale go. I do weigh a lot more than other people my height, even those that are fatter than I am. I am convinced it's because I have so much muscle mass due to working out & lifting weights like I do. But so far I still see fat, still can't fit into a lot of my clothes, & still have 11 pounds to lose according to the scale............hopefully that'll start changing soon..............

I think that's all the updates I have for now...............

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is there fungus among us??

For quite a while now (well ever since we got DVR on our DirecTV) I've been watching a show on TV hosted by a naturopathic MD. I have learned some really interesting stuff & have changed up my vitamin/supplement routine based on what I've learned.

But lately they just keep showing the same episodes I've already seen. And it's only on once a week. I REALLY have a hunger to learn health related stuff. This is a huge part of why I became a nurse, but I still hunger to know more about alternative treatments/options.

So I went on a search for more health related shows to record on our DVR. I found a few, most are weekly & some I haven't even seen yet. But I found one that's on daily & have been watching it for almost a week now. The host is not a doctor, he makes that very clear, but he is willing to share what he thinks. This guy says that the vast majority of modern day illnesses are caused by fungus. That is basically the whole point of this show. At first I wasn't sure what to think, and to a certain extint I still feel that way. But I do see a lot of reasons to believe that this is true. Even reasons that he hasn't touched on.

For many years I've been aware of aflatoxins. This is a fungus that grows primarily on corn, but also on peanuts & maybe even on other foods that I am unaware of. This fungus has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a carcinogen. The biggest concern out there is that our livestock are all fed corn & soy & it is theorized that the corn they are fed sits around in warm, moist conditions, where the aflatoxins can really grow well. So if the livestock is eating this carcinogen how is that impacting the animal & even more how is it affecting us when we eat the livestock??? No one really knows for sure. But my point is--here is proof that a fungus causes cancer. And here is proof that as we eat corn & peanuts we could very well be ingesting fungus, especially processed corn in products.

Now for those who don't know medical stuff let me explain that in our bodies we have our natural flora--a combination of fungus & bacteria. And the fungus keeps the bacteria from taking over & the bacteria keeps the fungus from taking over. Now for many decades we have overused & abused antibiotics. And antibiotics are going to kill off some of our good bacteria that makes up our natural flora. So this will lead to an overgrowth of fungus. This is how women get vaginal yeast infections while on antibiotics.

So back to the TV show: this guy claims that yeast causes (among a lot else) obesity. This guy has several books (which I would LOOOVE to get my hands on & read & hope to at some point) & some are on how to eat to starve the fungus & by doing so you will lose weight. I am knowledgable on what foods feed fungus & a low carb diet will pretty effectively starve yeast. Could this be why low carb diets are so effective???

This guy believes that HIV (human imunodeficiency virus) is really HIF (human immunodeficiency fungus). He states that it is a mutant fungus & one of the reasons we haven't found a cure is that we are barking up the wrong tree so to speak. He states that the drug diflucan (often given to women for yeast infections & given more & more for other fungal issues) was originally created for HIV.

This guy used to work in a lab performing experiments on lab rats. The rats never became diabetic no matter what they fed them. So to do tests on rats for diabetes they had to induce type 2 diabetes in the rats first. HOW do you induce type 2 diabetes in rats you ask??? By injecting them & infecting them with a certain type of fungus. Makes you wonder, huh?? I personally think there's a multitude of reasons for the rise in type 2 diabetes these days (over use of corn in just about all our foods, especially high fructose corn syrup, relying more on fast foods than other past generations, sedentary lives due to a multitude of factors, like desk jobs, video games, TV watching, smaller yards, lack of going out due to more crazy people on the streets, the list goes on & on).

I don't know how aware people are of the statin drugs (Lipitor is the best known of them, but there are many of them out there now--the generic names all have "statin" in them, Lipitor is a brand name). These drugs have major bad side effects & are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be carcinogenic. The only reason the FDA approved them was because they were originally marketed for elderly with really severe high cholesterol, so that they would die of other causes before dying from cancer from the statin drug. Of course once they got it on the market they didn't stick to that plan at all, so they could make more money of course. They are now suggesting that "everyone over the age of 40" start taking statin drugs because they are showing to be effective in many things--like alzheimers, diabetes, the list goes on & on. The guy on this show states that the statin drugs are anti-fungal in nature. This guy once told a doc he thought this & the doc hung up the phone on him. But it left the doc wondering.......so this doc did experiments & found that this is true. He appeared on the show with petri dishes (I LOVE playing with petri dishes--microbiology was the best class I ever took in college!!) showing the results. He tested a lot of stuff & found that aspirin also has anti-fungal properties. And anyone who knows cardiac stuff (I have been a cardiac nurse for the past few years now) knows that people are told to take a daily aspirin to protect their heart. And anytime you suspect you might be having a heart attack you should take an aspirin IMMEDIATLY--if it is a heart attack you will minimize the damage by taking the aspirin--the sooner you take it the better results you'll get. So now this guy (& this doc) believe that cardiac diseases are also caused by fungus. Very interesting is all I can say..............

He talked briefly about things in our diet that kill fungus--olive leaf, apple cider vinegar, purple veggies, carrots, purple juices (as well as things that feed the fungus--he theorizes that it is parasitic in nature & makes us crave the foods that it needs to live). I have my own theory--that this is why grapes, grape juice, & wine are supposed to be so good for our health. I don't follow this info closely cuz they usually are talking about wine & I don't drink, but I would bet that the research shows that red grapes & red grape juice & red wine are better for our health than white (because the red is more anti-fungal than the white). Does anyone know if this is true??

Of course our own personal experiences teach us far more than anything else can. Last year I was on a ton of antibiotics for a few things (UTI's, MRSA+ spider bite, I think there was something else, but I can't remember now) The spider bite took multiple rounds of stronger & stronger antibiotics to kill the infection. I even had to hospitalized due to the type of antibiotics I was receiving. It was shortly after this that I was having a problem that my own doc could not resolve. I ended up going to a naturopathic MD & we did some very comprehensive tests. She found I had a fungal infection & once it was handled I was symptom free & happy. I remained this way until right after I gave birth. A little over a month ago I headed back to the naturopathic MD (didn't even bother with my regular doc this time)--well she's on maternity leave, but I saw another doc in her office. She treated me for fungus & once again the problem is gone. Thinking it over afterwards I realized that during labor I had a really high fever & they gave me several rounds of IV antibiotics because of this. So everytime I get antibiotics I tend to have a major problem with fungus. Hopefully as I continue to handle the problem I will also get some more weight off!!

Wow, this got much longer than I was planning............I just thought this was very interesting stuff................I'm sure I'll be sharing more as I learn more in time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Updates on the lil J, his cold, etc.

So the lil J is feeling somewhat better & the fever is gone, but still is somewhat congested, still has a slight cough, & still is fussier than usual. His appetite also is not back to what it was & his feeding schedule has become very erratic & unpredictable for now. I do not want to force feed him & establish bad habits though, so I'm just sitting back & letting him tell me when he's hungry & how much he wants. He did finally sleep through the night last night, the first time since he got sick.

I had stopped giving him the sage tea & grapefruit seed extract a few days ago, but started again today since he's still not completely over the cold. I also started adding acerola powder to his bottles today.

I haven't weighed him at all since the last time I did--at 3 & 1/2 months--will do that next week when he turns 4 months old.

When we went to church on Sunday we sat in the family friendly overflow building (for the first time ever) so we could keep him with us since he's still a little sick. But last night for our Bible study we did put him in the nursery (had no choice)--I really doubt he's contagious by now.

He is still grabbing at everything in sight & loves company (& hates to be alone, unless he's napping). He still "talks" a lot & is now making this screeching sort of noises. I normally repeat back to him the sounds he makes, but these are impossible for me to make, some of them really crack me up & I think that's the idea--he likes to make us laugh. We have a little comedian on our hands here. Daddy has found the tickle spots now & loves to get him laughing. It is soooo cute to see him actually "laughing". I have tried but so far can only get smiles, only daddy knows how to tickle good enough to get actual giggles. I do get him giggling every evening when I take off his clothes (to put him in his pj's). This is one bedtime routine that I have established that he really, really likes. It's almost like he will force himself to stay awake until he's in his pj's. He LOVES pj time. But I digress--so when I pull his clothes off over his head he cannot help but laugh about it. I cannot figure out what is so funny about it & in the morning after his bath when I put the clothes on he is always crying about it.....so I really don't get it, but to him it's very funny & worth giggling over.

I can't really think of any other updates at the moment......it's really hard to get videos of him doing cute stuff cuz he's very camera shy. The minute he spots that camera he stops doing the cute stuff & just stares nervously at the camera.

Wow, next week I'll already be needing to get a 4 month pic!!! Time sure does fly!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lil J has his first cold!

So lil J has his first cold.

Considering that I think he's actually doing really well, he's a real trooper.

On Monday he was fine. We went to Bible study Monday night & then on Tuesday he was really fussy--I thought he was teething. Wednesday morning hubby woke me & told me he thought little one had a cold cuz he was coughing a lot. I got up & insisted he didn't cuz I could tell he was only coughing cuz of his "boogies".

On further inspection though, I realized he had boogies worse than ever before & I couldn't even get them out for him, they are way up in there. But you can hear them & he's having a hard time breathing.

So I was putting saline drops in his nose to loosen the boogies. I was giving him diluted grapefruit seed extract & sage tea. I put vicks vaporrub on his chest & feet. He was fussier than usual, wanted to be held a lot. His appetite was not what it usually is. I took him into the steamy bathroom (running hot water in the tub) & sat in there with him as he breathed in the steam.

This morning he was pretty happy when he woke up. He seemed better, but as the day wore on he wore out & was once again tired & cranky. He definitely has a fever today. I gave him some advil earlier for the fever (& body aches that he most likely has but can't verbalize). And I am still giving the grapefruit seed extract & sage & his usual vitamins (B12, B15, & D3). I'm usually like that when I'm sick---I wake up feeling good, but then as the day goes on I find myself sick again.

Yesterday I was telling hubby how shocked I am at how well he takes anything I give him. That grapefruit seed extract does not taste good at all & he just sucks it down like nothing. Hubby commented that perhaps his taste buds aren't developed yet & he doesn't know. But today when I gave him the advil (it's blue raspberry flavor, can't find an unflavored one......) I could tell he REALLY liked it & sucked it down & wanted more. So yeah, he obviously does have taste buds, but I do appreciate how cooperative he is with taking stuff that doesn't taste good. Hopefully that's an indication that he won't be a fussy eater!

I had wondered ahead of time how it would be to care for him when he gets sick. I was worried I wouldn't know what to do. I mean, yeah, I'm a nurse, but sometimes it's very different when it's your own personal family. And I've never specialized as a peds nurse, although I've worked peds several times, but it's literally been YEARS since I've done it at all. But I find myself feeling just like I'm at work & have had no difficulty whatsoever with the situation, aside from being worn out by it. This time my emotions are very involved & I cannot clock out & go home & forget about it.

Right now I got him down for a nap. I am exhausted, been holding him & singing & otherwise trying to keep him entertained all day. He really loves the singing. I can even notice him liking specific parts of songs, he seems to recognize that now in the songs I sing to him often.

I am pretty sure he got his cold at church in the nursery. I do appreciate all that they do in the nursery, but I do wish they were more educated on microbiology (I actually wish EVERYONE had to take microbiology--it should be a high school requirement). I mean, they are better than some places--they do clean all the toys, swings, equipment, etc. But I've also seen them right in front of me lay down his pacifier with the bulb touching the counter. To me it's common sense that there are germs on that counter so you shouldn't do that. And a few weeks ago I was waiting to drop him off at the nursery (you can't drop off until all the kids from the prior service have been picked up & that was running late). It's different people watching the kids each service & the people for our service know little one well & really like him, which is nice. But the people in there for the prior service were having all sorts of problems--wrong pacifiers in wrong kids mouths, wrong bottles, missing bottles, missing pacifiers, I couldn't believe all the issues I was witnessing as I stood there waiting. Seeing that REALLY made me appreciate the group that watches him during our service on Sundays. It's different people on Monday nights also, but they are starting to get to know him now & they shared with us recently that at first he seemed really nervous with them, but each week he has been more & more relaxed with them, which is nice.

On a side note: little one has several stuffed animals now. I have showed him all of them & sat them on the tray of his swing as he swings. I thought for sure he would like the little alligator (it's in several photos) cuz it makes this crinkly noise & he LOVES crinkly noises--his rainforest gym has a leaf that crinkles & he LOVES playing with it & everytime I put him on the changing table his foot goes for the wipes cuz the package they're in makes a crinkly sound--it's REALLY cute. BUT he has never shown much interest in the alligator. When I was in labor hubby brought me flowers & on the vase was a little stuffed dog. I told hubby that would be the baby's first stuffed animal. But it's been on that vase up until very recently. As soon as I washed it & gave it to him you could see that he liked it. He kept touching it & grabbing it. I would leave it nearby him & then I turn around & he has it in his arms. So this morning I put him in the swing when I went to workout & I put the little doggy on the tray in front of him & while I'm working out I hear him "talking" A LOT (on the monitor). When I was done working out & I walked back inside I see him sitting there holding up the doggy staring at it so intently & "talking" to it. He looked like he was really telling it something important (probably how miserable he feels!). It was soooo cute. I tried to video it but missed the best part of it, only got him holding it, not him talking to it.

I gotta run, gotta get some things done before he wakes from his nap & wants attention..........

Monday, August 3, 2009

3.5 month updates on lil J..............

So lil J is 3 & 1/2 months old today....how times flies!!

Life continues to get better & better all the time with him. He is again sleeping through the night. Last week he wasn't eating much--only 2-4 ounces every 3 hours as opposed to his usual 8 oz every 3 hours. I think this is why he had stopped sleeping through the night--he just wasn't getting all his calories in & was still hungry during the night.

Hubby made me realize it was the nipples! I know there are different stage nipples for our bottles, but didn't really think it was necessary, especially since in the beginning he was choking on even the stage 1 nipples. But we realized he was struggling to eat & wearing himself & frustrated & tired & giving up. So I rushed out & got the level 2 nipples & all has been well again. He eats peacefully, finishes his bottles & is again sleeping through the night.

We also had to change his bathtub. It's a newborn to toddler tub. So in the beginning you bathe them on a sling over the tub. Even after his umbilical cord fell off I liked the sling & continued using it. But last week I told hubby I felt the sling was really unsafe now--he moves around way too much & will soon go falling overboard. Hubby agreed. So we took the sling off & drilled a drain hole in it (it had a hole with a plug but not in a convenient spot for us, so we made our own that goes over the sink while bathing him). We also ordered a sprayer that attaches to the sink faucet--can't wait for that to get here, should make life even easier.

With these two changes in one day--the nipples & bath--I told hubby it made me a little sad. My little boy was already becoming a big boy. It's already begun--and it will never stop at this point. Such is life, it just hit a little hard that morning. Part of me can't wait for him to start eating solids, crawling, walking, talking, but another part of me wants to just enjoy every second of every stage, cuz it will be gone & never here again soon enough.

Earlier this week hubby came home from work early cuz he wasn't feeling well. As he was resting on the couch he saw little one being fussy & he just wanted to be held, nothing else was making him happy. So I sat down on the couch & cuddled with him. Hubby was saying how we have to find something to keep him entertained so this doesn't keep happening. I asked why & he said so I could get things done that I need to. But I told hubby that in a few minutes he would tire of being held & want to play in the rainforest gym, so I just enjoy my "cuddle time" while I can get it. Soon enough he'll probably reach an age where he doesn't want to cuddle at all anymore & I will miss these days, so I take what I can get when I can get it. I have learned that housework, etc can wait a little while when there's "cuddle time" needed.

His latest funny thing he does is that I keep a burp cloth hanging on the side of the crib overnight in case he spits up & I need to grab it fast. The last few mornings when I wake up he is awake with the burp cloth. The first few mornings he was just turned sideways in the crib & I didn't understand why (he was aiming to get the burp cloth, just hadn't reached his goal yet). Then I found him a few mornings turned sideways with the burp cloth laying inside the crib. Now the past couple of mornings I find him sideways with the burp cloth in his hands (he LOVES playing with his burp cloths). You can tell by his smile that he is extremely proud that he pulled this off. It is soooo adorable.

I still try to have at least one fun time each day--usually either reading to him, playing guitar & singing with him, or going in the pool. He still likes to "talk" a lot, which I also love.

I think that's all the updates I have for now...........

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ramblings on Motherhood

I must say I have never been one of those women who feels my entire worth is wrapped up in having a child. I know a lot of women like that--like that is their whole mission & goal in life--to have children. I've had lots of "female problems" since I was a teenager--I don't know why--I had a lot of xrays as a young child (ovaries are sensitive to xrays & can be damaged by them), I was once standing in front of microwave that caught on fire when I was 12 (radiation exposure maybe?)--who knows. But I guess from a young age I knew there was a chance I wouldn't be able to have children & I just accepted it. I was really ok with it. I never lost a minute of sleep over it & never felt sad or self pity (though I don't think I've ever felt self-pity over anything in my life!) over it.

I have to admit when I first started dating men that had children it was a bit awkward for me. But I eventually found that it added a whole new dimension to a relationship--a good one. Vacations & things (albeit more expensive) were much more fun with kids.

I've been a step-mother for over 4 years now. It hasn't always been easy, but I do love these kids with all my heart. I have taken my role as step-mother VERY seriously & am always aware of the examples I set before them & always have their best interest at heart. I always try to put myself in their shoes when considering things that will/might affect them. We have really come a long way in 4 years I must say. But I also must add that they've been older & independent for the most part since I married into this family. I've deliberately avoided a real "motherly" role directly with them because I never wanted them to feel that I was trying to replace their own mother & they really didn't need that role anyways. They both have a good relationship with their own mom.

Whenever people have asked me if I did fertility treatments I tell them hubby & I discussed it & decided not to. They always nod & mention how expensive it is. The truth is hubby & I didn't even discuss the financial side of it. Hubby said he would go with whatever I wanted regarding it & I felt very strongly against it--I felt like I'd be forcing something that perhaps wasn't God's Will.

I must say hubby & I were content with our family as it was. And we were thinking in just a couple of years we'd be free to travel on our own & do mission trips & volunteer more at church, etc. So when we discovered I was pregnant we really had mixed feelings. I must admit I did not enjoy being pregnant, it was quite torturous (sp?). And the labor & emergency C-section wasn't any better. And then the first couple of months of motherhood were really, really hard. But for the past month or two things have been getting better. Much, much better. And through it all, no matter how hard it was, I found myself doing what was best for little Joseph, without even having to make that decision. It just comes naturally.

I must say that I am finding that I absolutely love motherhood. I always thought that a part of me would miss my child-free days, but that isn't the case. Yes, on days when I have a ton of errands to run it's very hard to do & I do get frustrated sometimes, but that isn't the same as me longing to be child-less. Some things just have to be done differently now.

None of this is really something I can put into words, but it is quite shocking to me. I am hoping that I am a good mom--that I can raise him to be a good person & to have a strong relationship with the Lord. I have read the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" & hope to be able to follow the advice of this book in raising him. For quite some time now I have prayed daily to be a better wife & be more appreciative of my husband (things weren't bad & I wasn't not appreciative, just wanting God's best) & it has really taken our marriage to a whole new level that we both are thrilled with. I am now also praying daily that I can be a better mom & step=mom & instill the ways of the Lord into my children.

I'm done rambling for now............

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The latest updates on lil J.....

So lil J is 3 months now (or was he already in my last blog....I can't remember now?).....

He is grabbing everything within reach & thrilled to be able to do so. We have a cabinet above the changing table (where we keep formula, bottles, burp clothes, etc) & on the knobs on the drawers on it I keep a rubber band (at night when I get up to feed him I put my hair up so he's not grabbing & pulling it) & the other day I changed him & then sat down to feed him & he had my rubber band in his hand all excited about it. Yeah, he's getting sneaky like that, so I have to be more careful of what's in his reach now.

Tonight he was picking up his pacifier (with his thumb mostly) & trying really hard to get it in his mouth. He never quite got there, kept holding it sideways, but he was trying really hard. He later started holding the bulb part of it between his thumb & finger, which was quite impressive, but of course that wouldn't get it in the mouth either, LOL!! It was quite entertaining.

He loves when I read to him now--I can remember the early days when I don't even think he was aware that I was reading to him &/or he would just fall asleep to me reading to him. He probably still doesn't know WHAT I'm reading about, but he gets very calm & attentive when I read to him. Another thing I like to do is play my guitar & sing to him. And he appears to be trying to join in as he coos & makes all his verbalizations while I'm singing. It's absolutely adorable. I REALLY want to try to get a video of this!! Our little mother/son worship time, it's so great!

He hasn't been sleeping through the night the past few nights, waking around 4 am. But he did it for quite a while there, so I am hopeful he will again soon. But he takes good naps & usually goes to bed around 7 pm or so, so it gives us plenty of rest time.

I had such a blast taking him to the pool the other weekend. Hubby suggested that we just get a little wading pool in our backyard & I can do that a lot more often that way. When I was at Costco a few days ago I saw they had one & got it. We went to a pool store today & compared what they had & we got a much, much better deal with the Costco pool, so we decided to keep it & hubby & I inflated it just a little while ago. I was just telling hubby today that for me summer is all about playing in the pool, bbq-ing, & eating lots of fruit!! Gotta love summer. It used to be about going to the beach as well, but we haven't made it there in about 3 or 4 years I think. We used to stay all day & then have bonfires at night, it was so great! I miss those days--hopefully when Joseph is a little older we can do it with him too.

As for the baby dedication--I had sent an email to my pastor regarding the situation. It was mostly because I felt someone else going through that could easily turn away from the church, or even worse, from God. I really didn't want to see that happen to anyone. I wanted to make sure they were aware of what was going on. Several days later hubby got a phone call from one of the administrative pastors. Hubby had no idea that I had sent an email--he was caught off guard & didn't really know what to say. So he called me, said the pastor wants to dedicate our baby & wants to meet us. He asked me why I gave him his phone number, but I hadn't. I guess he someone looked us up in the church records. So today after church we met up with him. He apologized, said the elder we met with was new & a little overzealous. So the baby dedication is set for September 27th. He said that both of our reactions were actually just as he would expect--for the mom to take it as if she is a bad parent & the father to not be quite as devastated by it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Updates on lil J.....

So life is getting better & better with little J. He cries less & less all the time it seems. He sleeps through the night a lot of nights, but still wakes once occasionally. He is learning how to use his hands more, he is grabbing anything in his reach & is excited to be able to grab now. He also keeps trying to get up when he's sitting somewhere. He holds his head up pretty well, but his chest area is still a struggle for him.

After several weeks of wanting to take him swimming & never getting to it, we finally made it there yesterday! It was a lot of fun. He did really well. If we put him on his back he would float, but he would also get scared. So the whole time daddy held him in an upright position & we never let his head go under, I'm sure that would've scared him. After spending over an hour in the wading pool with him we headed to the jacuzzi. We met a really nice Christian couple there (& got their phone #) & hung out there until little one got hungry & fussy. Then we headed back to our patio table & fed him & ate fruit we brought & sat & enjoyed the breeze. The couple we met in the jacuzzi kept commenting on how great I look for having a 3 month old, they both kept "prying" (their word, not mine) on what I do. It was nice cuz I do still feel unhappy with my body--still have 12 more pounds to drop.

On another note overall I've been feeling pretty stressed out & disappointed in myself. Life is hectic with a baby & I am a perfectionist so I get a bit frustrated at times. But what really did me in was my church. About 3 weeks ago we met with a counsellor to schedule a time to get little one dedicated at church. We had to go through a really extensive interview for this & were basically told that we weren't strong enough Christians at this point. We were completely honest, telling him that we read our Bibles several times each week, but not always daily, even though we try to. We were told we needed to start 3 things: DAILY PERSONAL Bible reading, DAILY COUPLE Bible reading, & to get in a Bible study at church. We have really, really tried, but are failing it seems. We are in a Bible study now, we both "usually" manage our personal daily Bible reading most days of the week, but cannot seem to workout the COUPLE Bible reading. For those who know me, you know my hubby works A LOT of hours, some days by the time he gets home from work I'm too sleepy to understand what we're reading. It's just not working. And all of this has been a HUGE effort with a 3 month old in the house I must say. I do understand that their intentions were good, but I still feel it's a bit unrealistic & I really can't believe that everyone else who is up there dedicating their babies is doing all of this. We are supposed to report back next Saturday & I told hubby I'm not going--I cannot sit there & have the counsellor tell me what a failure I am. I have been skipping meals & sleep to accomplish what they want. My other issue is that I don't feel my heart is always in the right place with this situation--I'm reading as a chore now, surely the Lord wouldn't be pleased with this. We haven't given up on the challenge, we are still working on it & will continue to do so, though we have given up on the dream of having him dedicated at church, but I am very sad with the situation. Every week when I see couples up there dedicating their babies it literally brings me to tears.

I do have to say that I feel we are strong Christians--we do study our Bibles on a regular (though not always daily) basis, probably averaging 4-5 days each week, we continue to tithe our 10% (and sometimes more) despite what our finances are like, & we continue to pray & seek God always. I'm just feeling very sad & hurt over this situation. Hubby doesn't like seeing me so stressed out & skipping meals & not sleeping, so he agreed that we not go back next Saturday & that we can just do a dedication to God on our own.

Alright, little one is hungry, so I must sign off for now..........

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And now for something completely different: Corn

A little break from the blogs on little one......

So I didn't write any blogs on the last book I read. It was about a guy who was in the mob/mafia/la cosa nostra/whatever you want to call it. He got saved, left the mob, & lived. He spoke at my church a few weeks back & my brother in law bought us one of his books telling his story. Very interesting, but I didn't get to writing any blogs on it. I have now finished that book & started another.

I am now reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan

Basically we are walking corn these days.

Just about anywhere you look or any food you buy or consume is derived from corn. Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken & pig, the turkey & the lamb, the catfish & the tilapia. Increasingly, even the salmon--which is a carnivore by nature, but farmers are reengineering it to tolerate corn (GMO salmon--this is one reason why we eat wild caught fish & not farmed; there is also GMO tilapia out there & who knows what else!!). The eggs are made of corn. The milk, cheese, & yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically come from cows that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machinges, eating corn.

If you look at processed foods you will find even more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the thing together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, & the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously the leavenings & lectithin, the mono-, di-, & triglycerides, the attractive golden coloring, & even the citric acid that keeps the nugget "fresh" can all be derived from corn.

To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any non-diet soft drink is to have some more corn with your corn. Since the 1980's virtually all the sodas & most of the fruit drinks have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Grab a beer instead & you'd still be drinking corn.

There are some 45,000 items in the average American supermarket & more than a quarter of them now contain corn. this goes for the nonfood items as well--everything from toothpaste & cosmetics to disposable diapers, trash bags, cleaners, charcoal briquettes, matches, batteries, & much more.

It goes on to explain in detail about the reproductivity of corn & that it never would have survived this long without the help of man, it would've become extinct. "No other plant has humankind so involved in it's sex life" as the book puts it. But the reproductive life of plants is something I am not knowledgable about, although I keep meaning to learn about it, I'm sure it will help me in my garden if I do so.

That's the most interesting of what I've read so far. I don't plan to do any sort of chapter by chapter blogging on this book, but if there's more interesting stuff in the book I'll be sure to share it here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Making progress

So this morning & yesterday morning little J slept til 6 am!!! To me this is a reasonable time to get up so to me this is sleeping through the night--yahoooooo!!

I have to say that I really, really like the schedule he has right now & I'm hoping it doesn't change much from here on out. He wakes up at 6 & eats, takes a little nap while I work out, shower, do my makeup & hair (he's not asleep the whole time, I usually put him in the swing & he dozes off & on). Then at 9 I bathe him & dress him & feed him. He's now taking a little nap. He'll be due to eat at noon & 3 & 6--he's still wanting to eat every 3 hours. I'm sure somewhere in the afternoon he'll need another nap. And around 6 or 7 pm he's usually ready for bedtime. So today I'm planning to put him in pj's at the last feeding. Up until now I really wasn't sure when his last feeding of the day would be so I never got to put him in pj's (cuz I never wanted to wake him just to put him in pjs!). But now I'm seeing a pattern emerge & I'm ready to do it. I'm also planning to read him a bedtime story. That way I can establish a bedtime routine for him. When I put him to bed in his regular clothes he kicks off his covers a lot (he moves around A LOT while he's sleeping) & in the morning his little feet & hands are really cold, so I think pj's will keep him warm even without covers.

This morning was soooo wonderful. A lot of times when he's REALLY hungry he's screaming his head off so desperate for food, especially while I change his diaper & he's hungry. And he also does this when he has a poopy diaper. He couldn't care less about pee, but hates the poop! So this morning I wake to hear him not crying, but just "talking". I look at the clock & it's 6 am. I look into the crib & he's wide awake, just looks at me like "ahhh, mom's here!!" I grab him (thinking he's on the verge of screaming) & start to change his diaper (which is full of poop!). The whole time I'm changing him he's just laying there smiling & cooing at me. I couldn't believe it!! Then I sat him down with the bottle & he just ate as calmly as could be. I was loving life!! I sure hope the day continues like this!! And I checked the clock today--I started his bath at 9 & then dressed him & made his bottle & was feeding him at 9:15--I'm getting much faster at the bath routine!!

I am noticing now that when he gets fussy it usually means he either has a burp or he needs a nap. Life is definitely getting easier.

Sundays are hard for me cuz I have to have me & him ready for church in the morning. Hubby usually helps me bathe him & feed him, etc to make this easier. I had assumed that he was just doing it to help me out, but last Sunday he shared with me how he looks forward all week long to Sunday mornings & getting to bathe him, etc. That just totally melted my heart!!

Mondays are hard cuz we go to Bible study at church on Monday nights. Last Monday he fell asleep on the way there in the car (6pm). I guess he woke up while there (he drank a little of his bottle, but not much) & was still awake when we picked him up at 9:45 pm. By the time we got home he had fallen asleep again, but when hubby took him out of the car seat he woke up & wouldn't fall back to sleep. We ended up putting him in the swing--but I hate for him to spend ALL NIGHT in the swing like that--just doesn't seem good. I think next Monday maybe I'll leave him in the car seat & see if he'll sleep through the night there--I think it's better than the swing at least.....

I think that's all the updates I have for now...........

Sunday, July 5, 2009

More lil J updates................

Little J still has good days & bad feeding-wise........I cannot seem to figure out what makes the difference.

He seems to be a shy-guy so far. When I took him to my work so my co-workers could see him he cried about having all these strangers looking at him & in his face. He did the same at hubby's work too. He clearly knows when it's someone he knows & when it's a stranger.

He has learned that he can reach farther with his feet than with his arms...as his lower body is easier for him to lift than his upper body is. He is getting really good at using both feet together to grab things. It's really amazing to watch as he so purposefully & carefully executes things such as grabbing a burp cloth & dangling it over himself.

His 3 am feeding for the last 2 mornings has moved to 4:30 am, yahoo!!!!! We are hoping it gradually extends to later & later & then to us sleeping all the way through the night.

I've been wanting to take him swimming soooo badly. We now have 2 pairs of swim trunks for him now (one I bought & one his big sister bought). So far we just haven't had the time to take him. We are still very busy & have no "fun time" at all. But as soon as we do we'll take him & I'll be posting pics! And yeah I'll be putting on my bikini, but I doubt I'll be posting those pics, LOL!!

As for me I am extremely happy to report that I already have my flat stomach back!!!! I was very worried about my weight & my body with the pregnancy, but I still managed to gain a whopping 47 pounds by the end of the pregnancy. After delivery I lost 27 pounds (the weight of the baby, placenta, water bag, extra blood I'm pumping, as well as the swelling fluid in my hands, feet, & face the last month)--so I still had 20 more to lose.

At a week & a half after delivery I started taking daily hour long walks with little one in the stroller. By 2 weeks I felt like I hadn't even had surgery & by 3 weeks I started working out again. At 4 weeks I started my diet again. I am now 7 weeks into my diet & have lost 7 pounds--so I have 13 more to go, I am very pleased with those results!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Little J updates............

So little J continues to do pretty well feeding-wise. Well, except for yesterday--he was super fussy & refusing to takes naps & constantly demanding to be fed & throwing up all day until he finally was beyond exhausted around 6 pm & passed out & slept til 1 am. But today is back to normal & all is well. He remains on the formula that has rice starch in it.

He still wants one feeding somewhere during the night--somewhere between 1-5 am. He will go 8-10 hours between dinner (5-7 pm) & the middle of the night feeding, but still can't get it lined up so he'll sleep through the whole night on that 8-10 hours......hopefully someday soon.

Just before he turned 2 & 1/2 months he moved up to size 3 diapers. And when he turned 2 & 1/2 months he moved up to size 6 month clothes.

He still likes to kick & explore with his feet. He is using his hands more & more & starting to be able to pick up some things (like blankets & burp cloths) & hold things I place in his hand (pacifier, rattle).

I think he's teething also (& so does grandma)--lots of drool & wanting to chew on stuff rather than suck on stuff.

He also continues to "talk" quite often & now smiles in response to a smile (before he would only smile in response to hearing a laugh).

Grandma (my mom) came for a visit today & got to see him smile & talk, it was a very nice day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

formula & other updates...........

So here's a run-down of formulas we've tried in the order tried so far with little J...

1-enfamil
2-home-made organic
3-earth's best organic
4-enfamil
5-parent's choice gentle (for gassy, fussy babies)
6-parent's choice organic
7-enfamil
8-parent's choice organic
9-parent's choice with rice starch
10-parent's choice sensitive (lactose free)
11-parent's choice soy
12-isomil
13-parent's choice with rice starch

With the majority of these we had projectile vomiting. With some we also had loose & green stools.

A lot of people keep telling me it's totally normal for a baby to spit up, which I am aware of, but projectile vomiting & loose stools are never normal.

The worst he's done on the rice formula is spit up, sometimes it's a lot of spit up, but still not vomiting (& thank God not projectile vomiting) & stools are normal. I put him back on the tagamet for now (with the projectile vomiting it made no impact at all, but he's not spitting up at all now with the combo of rice formula & tagamet). I started it 3 times a day (as prescribed) the next day took it down to twice a day & now am giving only once a day. In a couple of days I'll stop giving it & see what happens (this is what the doc suggested I do with it).

At last.............we have some peace in our home.

In other baby news--twice now he has gone 9 1/2 hours between feedings. But of course this doesn't mean we get to sleep through the night yet (we're still waiting anxiously for that day!)--it goes from the 5 pm or 7 pm feeding to the middle of the night. I did try to wake him at 10 or 11 pm the other night & "top off his tank". He only took 2 ounces (most feedings are 7 ounces) & still woke up at 4 am hungry...ho hum....but we are making progress. During the day he usually takes 7 ounces every 3 hours, sometimes he'll stretch it to 4 hours. He rarely sleeps in his crib, spends most nights in the swing. It's funny cuz we bought the swing when he was 4 days old & it was supposed to have 5 speeds, but only had one. It was really fast for him, so we didn't use it much. Then later on we pulled it out to use at night when he was fussy & we noticed it was going slower. It's been getting slower & slower as time goes on even though we've changed batteries. We couldn't understand it, but finally hubby figured it out--little one is getting heavier so that's making it slower, LOL!!! We're going to look & see if we can find one with more horse-power or that goes up to more weight (I think this one said it goes up to 20 lbs & he's getting close!). This one is also really noisy, getting noisier as time goes on & has never had the 5 speeds, so we're gonna try to return it.

He is now 15 lbs, has doubled his birth weight. He just moved up to size 3 diapers 2 days ago. When he moved up to size 2 diapers (right around one month old) he outgrew his size 0-3 month clothes the next day. So far he's still in his 3-6 month clothes, but they are pretty snug--any day now he'll be done with them me thinks.

He is now "talking" up a storm!! Always cooing & making other such verbalizations. I "talk" back & encourage this as much as I can. It's really cute & I'm sure it'll help him to learn to express himself & his needs & learn how to really talk later on. He also is very smiley & happy most of the time.

I'm starting to see a nap pattern developing I think. And I'm starting to see him get cranky when he needs his nap & can't sleep (too much noise &/or activity going on). I am working on getting him to nap in his crib (which he is right now) so he can maybe relearn the habit of sleeping in the crib so we can get out of the sleeping only in the swing habit we've developed.

I think that's all the updates I have for now....................

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finding the right formula...........

.....baby formula, that is.............

While still in the hospital little one had periods of fussiness, but it was all so new & unknown that we didn’t realize it would become a pattern.

In the hospital we had him on enfamil (I was/am unable to breastfeed). We did notice he had a hard time sucking, but somehow we thought he’d get better at it over time.

I had been planning to make my own formula & had some made & frozen at home that we just needed to thaw out. Shortly after we got home we made the switch & at first all seemed well. Little one really liked the formula. Only as the day went on we noticed him getting more & more hungry & scarfing his food down frantically. Somehow it wasn’t satisfying him—I’m assuming it wasn’t enough calories or not enough ‘something’.
At that point I decided I wanted to put him on an organic formula sold in the healthy grocery stores. Earth’s Best is the brand. It’s very expensive, but we felt it was worth it. This one was a no go from the start. He projectile vomited the whole thing immediately after eating it. We even tried 2 separate feedings just to see if the first one was a fluke. So back to enfamil we went.

The overall gassiness & fussiness continued to increase over time. He still struggled with sucking & choking. We were originally using the playtex drop-in bottles, but none of the nipples seemed to be slow enough for him, so we ended up switching to Dr. Brown bottles & it was somewhat better, though he was still struggling somewhat. I found that I liked these bottles better than the playtex though, so I stuck with them. Little one met all the qualifications of colic. We just assumed this is what we were stuck with until he was 3 months or so. We had tried gripe water (which made him throw up), probiotics (also made him throw up), mylicon drops (didn’t change a thing) & homeopathic colic tablets (helped a little initially, but didn’t last & no longer do anything). Finally, hubby was talking with people at work & found that several of them had had colicky babies & that their babies had also been on enfamil. At this point we decided to switch formula once again.

This time we tried Parent’s Choice Gentle formula. It says it’s for “gassy, fussy babies”, which he certainly is. But I didn’t like the ingredients (#1 is corn syrup solids) & it gave him loose stools, so then we tried the Parent’s Choice Organic formula. At first it seemed all was great. He did still struggle with sucking & not choking on his food, but we were trying to teach him to not do that. About a week after he went on this formula he started having loose green stools. And then a day or two later he started throwing up—a lot, frequently projectile, I’m not talking about a little spit-up. I talked with his doc about it & he was sure it was something viral & it would pass, but he did put him on tagamet, which did nothing. It continued & the throwing up was actually getting worse. So I went back to the doc & this time he treated me like I was crazy & insisted it was viral & would pass. But it did not.

At this point hubby decided we should switch him back to the enfamil. So we did. We started it again on a Friday night. He wasn’t throwing up & his stools were normal again. But by Monday morning he had turned into a totally different baby, his personality was totally different. He was a little monster—the screaming at the top of his lungs was never-ending, he was choking on every sip of the bottle, he was kicking, hitting, even pinching. It was totally unreal the change that had taken place before our eyes. This was the child we had early on when we first came home from the hospital. We had assumed the changes for the better were because he was getting older & getting used to life, etc. But now we could see that the changes had occurred because we got him off the enfamil. I know there will be people reading this who don’t believe what I’m saying, I probably wouldn’t believe it myself except that I’ve seen studies done that show that artificial colors & flavors, etc cause temper tantrums in kids. And kids with autism make HUGE improvements when their diets are changed for the better. So yes, nutrition makes a really big difference in temperaments.

So we went back to the Parent’s Choice organic formula at this point. The first day all was well. He was eating calmly & not throwing up & had normal stools. But on the second day the stools turned loose green & the throwing up started up again. At this point I was ready to pull my hair out. I can’t help but think that if we could just get the feeding issues resolved that I would have a perfect baby. There are no other difficulties with him, but these ones are huge.

Now I stop to consider the fact that hubby has lots of food intolerances & things like that. So I suppose the baby might be predisposed to that sort of thing as well. The doc refuses to look at this possibility, so I must do so on my own. I know that it could be lactose-intolerance, but it could also be a milk allergy & I’m sure it could be other things as well. My mother keeps wanting me to try Isomil. That’s the formula I was raised on. But soy is a last resort for me. I’ve read a lot of studies that show that soy is not good. Not to mention the fact that it’s most likely GMO soy. And there’s corn syrup solids in there too, which is most likely GM corn.

I was hoping to find a goat milk formula, but cannot find a single one. So I headed back to look at all the choices in the Parent’s Choice line & came home with 3--one that has rice starch (to reduce vomiting & spit-up), one that is lactose-free, & a soy formula. I am currently trying the rice starch one, it has the best ingredients of the 3. The lactose free one also has corn syrup solids as the #1 ingredient. And of course the soy will be my last resort.
And then hubby calls me earlier & says that a coworker of his says it’s the iron that’s in the formula, that his baby couldn’t tolerate it & it made for green stools & vomiting. But of course they ALL seem to have added iron............so what are we to do??

I am praying for success with one of these 3, hopefully for the one with rice starch. We shall see..................

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Updates on the little J

It's been a while now since I've sat down & written a blog...........I do occasionally have the time, but just haven't been in the mood I guess.

As for little J.....well, he's been super fussy & colicky since very early after birth. The first month was really, really tough trying to just understand him & how he expresses his needs & figuring out what he needs when. As all of that started to get a little easier he then started the projectile vomitting & having loose green stools. I keep telling the doc & he keeps insisting that as long as little one is gaining weight (which he definitely is) & not losing all is fine. I really don't agree with this philosophy, just keeping the situation in prayer seems to be all I can do at this point.

He has been wearing size 3 month clothes for several weeks now & he will be 2 months on Monday. Yesterday I was in Target & a lady was in line in front of me with a little boy who was just a little smaller than little one. I complimented her on how cute he is & asked how old he is (expecting him to be around little one's age or a little younger) & she said he's 3 & 1/2 months. Yikes!! I'm no expert on baby sizing, but I'm guessing that little one is big for his age.

He also started teething a few days ago. To my knowledge 3 months is the earliest they start this & he isn't even 2 months yet. But he was getting fussy, drooling A LOT, & chewing on his hand & the nipple of the bottle, etc. We looked in his mouth & can see a tooth just under the surface of the gum!! (This is why I was at Target, buying 'baby orajel', LOL!)

I think that about covers the updates it for now............