Yet Another ER Visit

Hello, friends. Today has been a fucking day, let me tell ya. Continue reading “Yet Another ER Visit”

Advertisements

The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles

What are some fun, artistic things that you have done with your little ones?

Hello, friends! I haven’t written about Liam’s developmental milestones for now, I have been planning a post about it, but since he is creeping up on his 18 month mark (what?!), I figured I’ll just wait until then! Today, I wanted to share with you all something that I have been having a lot of fun doing with him lately… coloring! Well, drawing. Doodling? Whatever. Toddler scribbles, yay! Continue reading “The Evolution of Toddler Scribbles”

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to the present fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, fathers of loss, fathers of divorce or separation, fathers-to-be, and future fathers who are trying to so hard become fathers.

Hello, friends. Today is Father’s Day, and for many, this is a day for celebrating the man, or men, in your lives who have helped to shape you into the person you are today. Unfortunately, for many others, this can be a sad, or upsetting day. To those of you who are struggling on this day, whether it be from a sense of absence, loss, or some other type of pain, I just want you to know that you are not alone.

I want to take a moment to thank three men in my life who all had a hand in making me the person I am today. My relationship with each is wildly different, but they are the fathers I have known in my life.

First and foremost, I want to wish a happy second Father’s Day to the love of my life, my rock, my everything, Kyle. I wish I could put into words how much you mean to Liam and I, and how much we appreciate how hard you work for us. The love you have for our son shines through your every interaction, and I know that he absolutely adores you. We both do. I wish we could celebrate Father’s Day today, but you’ll be at work, working your butt off to make sure that Liam and I have a good life. I am so proud of the man and father that you have become, and I love you very much.

Sosososocute.jpg

Secondly, I want to say happy Father’s Day to a man who has been in my life for nearly 20 years. A man who I have always had a rough relationship with, but who was always there for my mom and I. I don’t even have a single picture of you and I, but Happy Father’s Day to my step-father, Larry. You took in a woman and her daughter who were down on their luck, gave them a roof over their heads, and supported them financially until they could get back on their feet. You had a son of your own, but accepted me as your second child, even though we butted heads constantly. You were never easy to get along with, but you have come a long way, and have made my mom so happy. Thank you for all the gifts you paid for, but took no credit for. Thank you for trying, even if it didn’t work out the way you wanted. Thank you for keeping my mom sane and happy. Thank you.

And finally, I want to say happy Father’s Day to my biological father, Mike. I haven’t seen you in many years, and before that, many years more. I never knew you growing up, and I wish you had cared more about me, and your other children, than drugs and stealing. It was hard growing up without a father. I blamed you for a lot my my mom’s unhappiness, as well as my own. I blamed you for every bad boyfriend, every crappy apartment, and every toy I wanted but never received. I know now that you were sick. You are sick. And you are incapable of caring about anything, or anyone, including yourself. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you are taking care of yourself today.

30831_1303503027153_6539957_n

Happy Father’s Day to the present fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, fathers of loss, fathers of divorce or separation, fathers-to-be, and future fathers who are trying to so hard become fathers. Enjoy your day!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Three Weeks

Three weeks.

Today marks three weeks since Liam’s cold symptoms started. Three weeks of relentless, all-day fussiness, sleepless nights, horrible congestion, and a non-stop runny nose. We have gone through thousands of tissues, several bottles of Infant’s Tylenol, constantly have his humidifier running, and we are now halfway through his Amoxicillin prescription. No signs of improvement, although the ear ache that he had developed seems to be better (probably due to the Amoxicillin). He doesn’t seem to be getting better at all, and while I have felt better for about a week now, I am completely drained from having to take care of this poor, sick kiddo.

I suppose I have had it easy up to this point. Even as a newborn, he never woke up hourly, or even every other hour, to eat. He slept in 4-5 hour spans during the night, and was sleeping entirely through the night by the time he was 4 months old, unless he was going through a developmental leap. I never really needed to rock him, not even when he had his first cold, at just a few months old. That cold was absolutely nothing compared to this beast. I’m starting to worry that his sickness is developing into something more serious, and I am keeping an eye on this cough. I thought he was getting better, until two days ago, when he started waking up every hour (or more frequently), with horrible coughing fits, and needed to be rocked to sleep. He has been so clingy, both day and night. I can’t do anything. I can’t eat, I can’t bathe, I can’t sit at my desk, without picking him up, or he throws a fit. He never did this.

Is it just a toddler thing? I believe he is also teething. So, there’s that.

Ugh. I am exhausted, completely on edge, and miserable. And I’m willing to bet he feels even worse. I try so hard not to get upset with him when it takes 2-3 hours to get him to fall asleep, or when he wakes me up every hour between 1:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the morning, and needs to be rocked back to sleep every time. I know he is sick, and just wants love and comfort, but it is wearing me out so badly. I think I am going to call his doctor tomorrow and tell her about his new cough, and his lack of improvement all around. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

I just want some relief for the both of us.

Jan

Little Milestones 13-14 Months

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really?

Hello, friends! It has been a looong time since I gave you an update on Liam’s milestones (5 months actually, holy crap!), so I figured, now that he is into his toddlerhood, it would be a good time to share with you where he is at with his development. Like the last few times, I will be using several development charts from the BabyCentre UK site. These charts are not set in stone, and of course all babies develop at their own pace, but I just wanted to share with you all a look at where my kiddo is at.

As of today, Liam is 13 months and 3 weeks old. He wears a size 7 shoe, 18/24m clothes, and a size 5 diaper. I am not sure of his exact height and weight currently, but at his 12 month exam, he was 33 inches tall, and weighed just under 24 pounds. He is a tall boy!  As he is constantly learning and doing new things, I will be showing you the charts for 13-18 month olds. He does at least a little bit from each chart!

13

One of the biggest things that bothers me about these charts, as well as many other charts on other sites, is that they all claim that my barely one year old should have been saying anywhere from 2-5 real words from the age of 12 months. Well, he doesn’t, and I honestly don’t know any babies his age that do. Heck, I know two year olds that still only say “mama” and “dada“. Liam has been saying “mama” to me for months, but as his daddy is hardly ever home, he doesn’t say “dada” very often. He can say it, he just doesn’t. He has also started saying “oh yeah” recently, and just yesterday, he said what sounded like “no” for the first time. I have also been trying to teach him “hello” and “bye bye” to go with his waving. He also freaking LOVES “peek-a-boo” and plays it with me all the time.

The rest of the chart he has mastered, and we are especially proud of his cup drinking abilities. At 12 months, we switched to a cup with a real straw, not a sippy cup, and he picked it up within two days, and has only used a straw ever since. He can also grip and tip a real cup, without the lid and straw, but I need to hold it so that he doesn’t spill.

14

This is where things get frustrating, as far as these charts go, because several of these same things were listed on earlier charts, from 8 or 9 months old. He has been finger feeding since he was 7 months old. Most babies definitely are at this point, right? He does everything in this list, except for pointing. He does not point. He does not point to things he wants, he just grabs them, and he doesn’t point to body parts. We have been trying to learn “tummy“, but he still hasn’t picked it up.

15

This is where we get into the supposedly advanced stuff for someone his age, which seems odd to me. I already covered the talking bit, and as I said before, he just used “no” for the first time ever yesterday. The rest? He’s done it all. Liam has been walking since 10.5 months old, running since 11.5 months, and going up and down steps, and walking backwards, for the last month. He loves running around at the park, or at the store. He also tried to “help” me sweep by carrying around the dust pan, and also knows how to put his toys away, and the laundry into the basket. We also started coloring at 12 months, and he can grip and use a crayon pretty well now, although he doesn’t snow much interest in it. I never would have thought that all of these things didn’t come until 15 months.

16

Another confusing chart. Aside from the talking bit, Liam does all of this. He can turn the pages of his board books when we read, he throws EPIC tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, he is obsessed with both his Scout and Froggy toys, and makes sure to let me know that he needs to bring them to the living room in the morning and after his naps, and he has developed fussy eating habits over the last month and a half. Some days, he takes two naps, but most days it is only one. He can also unzip and pull ff his coat or sweatshirt, pull off his shirt by himself, and drop his pants, but needs help stepping out of them. He can put a shirt on over his head as well. He’s been able to stack his blocks for months. He also climbs onto the couch, climbs at the park, and climbs onto his activity table. He has yet to get out of his crib, thankfully.

17

I only wanted to include this list because, once again, it contains two things that Liam has been doing for a little while now, and one thing that he is starting to do. He has a riding toy that he got for Christmas, and has been able to get on and off of it on his own for about a month now. He can also dance, and does it regularly. He also recently started being able to get about half of his shapes into their correct holes on his shape sorter. He also responds to the phrases “sit down” “give me kisses” and “come here“.

18
Now, this chart, he doesn’t do too much from, obviously. We started brushing his teeth twice a day when he got his first tooth at 10 months (he still only has 4), and I will often hand his toothbrush to him to “brush” them himself while I am changing him for bed. He also can take apart block towers, and put blocks together, and has one amazing throwing arm.

I’m starting to not put much weight into what these charts say. I know that my son is a rock star, and is pretty on point in his development, but for him to be doing things that are supposedly moderately difficult for 17 and 18 month olds? I don’t know if I buy into that. It’s a nice thought, but really? Am I not giving him enough credit, or are these charts catering more to parents of children who may have slower development? Who knows.

Anyway, there’s a look at where my kiddo is at in his development. 🙂 As far as feedings go, he is drinking about 20-24 ounces of whole milk every day, and water for the rest of the day (no juice for us). He also eats 3 pretty hefty meals, and two snacks, every day. This kid eats like a high school football player, I swear. We haven’t really had any issues with constipation either, though some days he only poops once, and strains a bit, but he does go 1-4 (sometimes 5) times a day, depending on what he ate. No allergies so far! He’s also had every possibly seasoning out there (no salt!), and has loved them all. He has started his fussy eating phase, and has all but stopped eating vegetables, unless I sneak them into something he really likes.

His current favorite foods:
Broccoli and cheese omelette/scrambled eggs
Toasted English muffin with cheese and garlic
Baked cinnamon brown sugar apple bites
Soft carrot chunks with brown sugar and butter
Elbow noodles with shredded cheese and garlic
Cinnamon apple/banana/cinnamon raisin wheat pancakes
Black olives
Mozzarella cheese cubes
Plain broccoli and butter
Banana slices rolled in crushed Cheerios or graham crackers

Okay, maybe he isn’t that fussy, but he no longer eats sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, or raisins on their own, and it has been a pain to sneak those particular foods into things!

Okay, I’m done now, haha. What do you guys think about these development charts? Are they just really loose guidelines? Did/do your little ones seemed further in their development as well?

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #8

Hello, friends! Yesterday, the weather was hovering around 67 degrees and partly cloudy for the majority of the morning and afternoon, so I decided to take Liam to the park. I wanted to let him spend as much time having fun in the sun, since he had a pretty traumatic night the previous day. He fell down while running through the kitchen, and almost bit through his lip. It was so swollen, and there was SO much blood. It was awful. He’s handling it like a champ, but I wanted to give him a really good day.

I made the mistake of wearing a long-sleeve shirt and yoga pants, both black, and started sweating just a few blocks from my apartment. As we walked, it got warmer, and sunnier, and I was very relieved to go into the shade of Subway to get some lunch to bring to the park. However, I had an absolutely bizarre experience once inside. There was a woman finishing up her order when I walked in, and I stood off to the side of where the line would be, since I wasn’t ready to order. An older women walked in behind me, and I immediately smiled and told her to go ahead of me, since I was still deciding, this is a transcript of how this ridiculousness began:

Me: Go ahead in front of me, I’m still deciding.
Woman: *Moving in front of me* Oh, thanks, but I don’t know what I want either.
Me: Oh, that’s okay!
Sandwich Artist #1: What can I make you?
W: *Staring at the menu* Uh, I don’t know… hmm… uhhh…
[4 minutes pass, while the employee and I exchange glances, wondering if this woman has fallen asleep with her eyes open. Two more people walk in and get in line behind me.]
SA #1: Ma’am? Have you decided yet?
W: If I did, you would know. *Turning to me* Bet you wish you hadn’t let me go in front of you, huh?
Me: Oh, no, it’s okay, we’re not in a rush.
W: Mmhm. Okay, well, I’m going to have a ham and cheese on white bread, American cheese.
SA #1: Do you want it toasted?
W: Did I say I wanted it toasted?
SA #1: Right, not toasted then. Any veggies?
W: Nope.
SA #1: Any sauce?
W: *Sighing dramatically* Nooope!
SA #1: Any other sandwiches for you today?
W: Oh, yeah, he’ll probably want something, too. *Turning to me again* Sorry!
Me: Yup. No problem.
W: Steak and cheese, deluxe. NOT. TOASTED. NO. VEGGIES.
SA #1: … Okay. Got it.
[At this point, SA #1 slides the sandwiches over to SA #2, who appears to be new, who is standing at the register, and tells her what they are, before turning to me to take my order. SA #2 does not appear to hear her, and asks her again what the sandwiches are. SA #1 does not hear her ask, so SA #2 just stands there, while W glares impatiently at her.]
W: Hello? How much?
SA #2: Um… what were the sandwiches?
W: Are you joking?
SA #1: *Realizes what is happening* Ham and cheese, steak and cheese deluxe.
[The woman pays, and walks away to a table to fiddle with her receipt and purse. I finish my order, and start the payment process, while the couple behind me begins their order.]
W: OH, I need two drinks with these. Hello? HELLO? I need two drinks.
[No one responds, and she does not get back in line.]
W: FINE, I guess not! I’m going to Casey’s! Bye!
[She leaves, and we all exchange WTF? glances.]

Seriously. What a bitch. Why, lady? Why? There was zero reason for any of the attitude!

Anyway, we left Subway, and headed to the park. Liam started squirming and going a bit crazy once the park came into sight, and as soon as I set him down, he ran off. We were alone at the park, and Liam took full advantage of running, climbing, and going nuts all over the playground. After just a few minutes of being there, I heard, “Mommy! Look! There’s a baby!”, and I turned around to see an adorable little boy charging the playground. He immediately ran up to us, introduced himself as Gideon, and informed me that he and his mommy saw dog poop on their way to the park.

So. Freaking. Cute.

His mom was really nice, she was around my age, maybe a few years older, and had purple streaks in her hair, and a band tee on. Gideon followed Liam around, and every time Liam stumbled, he reached out to help him up. He talked up a storm, too. Telling me about how he was three years old, and how he likes to take naps after he goes to the park, and how he wishes he could sleep at the park, because he liked it there, which made his mom and I laugh. He was the sweetest little boy, and after a very short time, Liam was running around with him and following him as well. It was really nice to see him having fun, as we really don’t get to see other parents and kids very often. At all… ever.

He also may have eaten a very small pebble… still waiting to see if that was actually a thing or not.

After a whopping hour and a half at the park, we headed to Dollar General to pick up a few things. I was sweating so bad. I also walked by a really stupid fight going on in front of the high school a few blocks from our apartment. It was nearly 70 degrees by the time I got home, half dead.

Then we napped. And it was glorious.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Mommy/Daddy Birth Interview Assignment

Hello, friends! Recently, my good friend, Lindsey, asked to interview Kyle and I on our pregnancy/birth/baby experiences as part of a school assignment, and I was more than happy to do it! I thought it would be fun to share with you our answers, so you get a chance to hear a bit from the daddy part of our parenting duo. I had so much fun doing this interview, and it made me miss being pregnant! The baby fever is REAL, guys! Here was our interview:

Mother: Janise
1. How did you find out that you going to become a parent?
We weren’t trying to have a baby, per se, but we weren’t preventing it. We both wanted a baby, and after a while, I had my suspicions that it finally happened. I went to the store and bought two of those 88 cent pregnancy tests, the ones with the silly droppers, and sure enough, they came out positive!

2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was excited. Really excited.

3. What was pregnancy like?
A breeze, honestly. They say something like 2/3 of women experience morning sickness, which can last for months, or the entire pregnancy, but I never had any at all. I never had any symptoms at all until the last few weeks when my feet swelled, which was awful!

4. What was the birth process like?
I wish I had been more informed of my options, and what could go wrong during labor and delivery. Despite a healthy pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia during labor, and had to be put on a Magnesium drip to keep my blood pressure down, but then it dropped really low, which made me incredibly sick. I had an epidural as well, and Pitocin to help my labor, so I didn’t feel anything at all. I was exhausted though, and slept a lot. I labored for about 14 hours, and pushed for an hour and a half. The pushing was the worst. My epidural had started to wear off, and I was starting to feel again. It was weird though, because I didn’t feel pain, just a LOT of pressure. My partner had to leave the room, and after pushing on my back for an hour, they had me switch to the supine position (on all fours), which was awful, and a lot harder. I felt like I didn’t have a lot of control or say in what happened, and when they would tell me to push, I felt like it wasn’t the right time. Yet when I knew it was time to push, they told me not to. It was really stressful, and I felt very alone, despite being in a room full of people.

5. What do you remember the most?
The moment they handed my son to me. I was still on my knees and elbows, and they handed him to me through my legs. I felt completely numb, and overwhelmingly happy, seeing his face for the first time. That made all the pain, the sickness, and the 4-day hospital stay totally worth it!

6. What do you remember about the first month after the baby was born?
Pain. A lot of pain. You hear a lot about the pain of birth, but no one ever talks about what your body goes through afterwards. I bled for six weeks, and because I suffered a 4th degree perineal tear during delivery, I had a hard time doing much of anything. Housework went completely undone, because my partner had to go back to work early, and I was alone all day, every day, with this newborn. It was a little overwhelming.

7. Is it what you expected?
Honestly, some things were easier, and some things were harder. Not to toot my own horn, but I discovered that I was kind of a natural at the whole motherhood thing. I knew exactly what my son wanted based on his crying, and that made things so easy. He was such a good baby, too! Slept great, didn’t have any colic, and ate like a tiny linebacker. The hardest, most disappointing thing for me, personally, was not being able to breastfeed. I had all these hopes that I was going to exclusively breastfeed, but it never happened for us. He just wouldn’t latch, and I found it impossible to pump enough. I still feel guilty about it.

8. At what point did you feel “comfortable” with a new baby and taking care of him/her?
Within weeks, if not earlier. The first few nights were a bit of a shock, and really confusing. I didn’t have any family or friends to help me, or answer questions, so I relied a lot on the internet to get me through it. I read a lot, and it paid off. He was only a few weeks old and I felt like a pro. It relieved a lot of stress and worry.

9. Did having a baby change your outlook on your partner?
Honestly, yeah, a little bit. Getting him to change a diaper, even 13 months later, is a fight. He used to get frustrated so easily when the baby cried, and he didn’t know why. It is frustrating, feeling like you are doing 99% of the work in raising your child, especially when the other parent is actually there, but he helps out when he is able, which I appreciate.

10. Did having a baby change your sex life?
Completely. I feel really bad about it, really, because we had a great sex life before, even when I was 7 or 8 months pregnant. But thanks to my traumatic delivery, it has been difficult. My body took a very long time to heal, and it is still uncomfortable for me to have sex now, but there isn’t much I can do about it.

11. What is your least favorite thing about being a parent?
The judgment. Parenting itself came easily to me, but the judgment that I’ve received from family, friends, and even complete strangers, is disheartening. Every little thing that I post online, someone always has to say something. Everything from not being able to breastfeed, to co-sleeping (which we stopped doing when my son turned 6 months old), to letting him use a pacifier. Someone always thinks you’re doing something wrong. It took me a long time to adjust to that, and to realize that my son is happy, healthy, and crazy far ahead in his development, so they can go find someone else to judge!

12. What is the best thing about being a parent?
Lately, it has been being able to actually PLAY with my son. He is finally walking and running around, and it makes life so much more fun. Before, when he was just a tiny thing, we could only play on one spot, on the floor, which was great… but this is so much better. Seeing him grow and develop, and learn new things, it is so amazing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Father: Kyle

1. How did you find out that you going to become a parent?
We kind of knew for a while that it was going to happen. She bought a few pregnancy tests, and I was outside the bathroom door, and then we knew she was pregnant.

2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was a little scared, but I was happy, too.

3. What was pregnancy like?
Not very different really. She didn’t have any cravings, or mood swings, or anything like that. Her stomach just grew.

4. What was the birth process like?
Scary. I wasn’t able to be in the room, I just couldn’t handle it. I was still there, on the other side of the curtain, but it was still scary. I was expecting her to scream, like they always show on shows and in the movies, but she didn’t scream at all.

5. What do you remember the most?
I remember when Janise threw up on me, because she had to take Magnesium, and it made her really sick. She wasn’t even completely awake when it happened. They didn’t let her eat anything, but then they gave her an apple, because she was so weak, but it didn’t stay down. That, and cutting the umbilical cord, which I did do!

6. What do you remember about the first month after the baby was born?
A lot of crying. I got really sick right after he was born, and we found out it was because of my blood pressure, and probably stress. So I remember a lot of crying, and being sick all the time.

7. Is it what you expected?
No, it was actually a lot easier. I thought it was going to be like death, or the end of everything normal, but it has been really easy. He is really good.

8. At what point did you feel “comfortable” with a new baby and taking care of him/her?
Umm, I think after he turned 5 or 6 months old, and he wasn’t so tiny anymore. It was less scary. I was always afraid to do anything when he was really small.

9. Did having a baby change your outlook on your partner?
Not really. It has been really cool to see her as a mom though.

10. Did having a baby change your sex life?
YES. It did! Drastically.

11. What is your least favorite thing about being a parent?
I can’t really think of anything. I didn’t have a life or friends previously, so not much has changed about my social life, except now there are three of us here. She’s made it pretty easy for me. I don’t have to change any of the bad diapers.

12. What is the best thing about being a parent?
Seeing how goofy my son is. He’s just like me. The weird faces he makes, and just how silly and funny he is, it just makes my day. He is a funny kid.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for reading, friends! Thanks again to Lindsey for choosing to interview us. I hope you enjoyed our answers!

Was your pregnancy/birth experience similar to ours?

Jan (and Kyle!)