Sunday, January 29, 2012

Louis: Eleven Months Old

It feels like Louis has become a brand new person in the last week or so. So much less of a baby and so much more of a big kid. Which is exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time. We have had a rough couple of weeks with snot and sickness, but he finally seems to be in the clear (at least for now). He has decided that formula is for babies and eating is the new thing to do. His current favorite foods are pancakes and avocado/cheese quesadillas. I've started giving him a tiny bit of real milk in a cup for breakfast and he is beside himself with joy. We have officially started the countdown to no more bottles. I can't wait.

Lou is a crawling, cruising and pulling up on everything in sight machine. I don't think that independent walking is imminent, thank goodness, because my nerves can't take it. We are definitely on 24/7 suicide watch. He manages to get himself in some kind of perilous situation every 30 seconds or so. We need to ramp up the baby proofing. Hell, we need to put him in a plastic bubble. His new thing is climbing. On everything.

He loves balls. And trains. And Norah's dress up magnet girls. And pretty much anything that Norah is playing with at any given time. We regularly refer to him as Lou-zilla as he is prone to destroy anything in his path. He loves textured books and beating on every surface as though it was a drum. He loves music and has a decent sense of rhythm for someone who isn't even a year old yet. He's a great dancer. He's a great snuggler.

He is obsessed with baths, specifically bubble ones. He took lots of warm soaks when he was sick and now just turning on the faucet will send him scurrying to the tub. He can't stand it when Norah's in the bath and he's not and will try to fling himself in with her. He says Mama and Dada in the proper context and I am pretty sure he can say ball. We're picking up on some of his receptive language development and he definitely understands requests like 'throw me the ball' and 'give me a hug.' He's in a total mom phase right now, which is awesome. He is a string bean and still hasn't hit the 20 pound mark yet (although he's really, really close). At least 2 pounds of that is hair.

He's a great sleeper with a few exceptions. He is still a really gassy kid and will often times wake up in pain. Nothing seems to work except letting him work out the gas himself, which usually involves snuggling on the couch and letting him watch a few minutes of late night television. Clearly, he is smarter than we are. His diapers are beyond disgusting and I have to pin him down with one elbow and a knee just to change his pants. He loves being outside, loves the stroller, loves the swings at the park.

He is walking all over the place holding on to his little car (he totally won't bend his knees), and demands to be pushed on it at least 47 times a day. His laugh is by far the greatest sound I have ever heard. Norah loves to be the one to go get him in the morning and after his nap. She tickles him through the slats of his crib and then climbs in with him until I go and get them out. She told me today it's one of her favorite parts of the day. He is beside himself with joy the second he sees her. (Then he pulls the crap out of her hair and she head butts him and they both cry until rescued.) He's more into books than ever before and stacks blocks like nobody's business. He's a cool customer.

Babyhood is slipping away faster than I thought it would. I am so excited to see what toddlerhood has in store for us.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take a Moment

Please take a moment to get to know my friend Kristy. She lives in Texas and is a teacher. She has two exceptional daughters, Juliana and Olivia. Her oldest daughter Juliana has Rett syndrome. Rett is a progressive, neurodevelopmental disorder. Rett is a cruel disease that has robbed Juliana of her mobility and her ability to speak. She is literally trapped in a body that does not work. Although Juliana continues to make amazing strides every single day, every one of those days is a struggle. A struggle that no person, especially a child, should ever have to endure.

Kristy and her family are very involved with the organization Girl Power 2 Cure a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness, funds for treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome. A cure is possible. The research is promising and new therapies are on the horizon. Kristy and her husband (and their "dream team") work tirelessly to raise awareness about Rett and to raise money for the organization so essential to families living with Rett.

It's a cause that Kristy believes in so much that she's putting her legs on the line and running a half-marathon. For her daughter. For the thousands of girls just like her. Please support her. Every penny she raises goes to Girl Power and the fight to beat Rett. Make a donation, or leave a word of support, or just spread the word. Juliana deserves a voice. And a fighting chance.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I am writing myself a check for $15

On Sunday Lou had a temp of 104. On Monday it was 102. On Tuesday he had no fever but was grumpy as hell. On Wednesday I worked all day and when I got home he was still grumpy as hell. I stripped him down to get him in the bath and little dude was covered front and back with a speckled red rash. Bam. Roseola. I am so confident my diagnosis is right on that I am happily paying myself the $15 co-pay that it would have cost for the pediatrician to tell us the exact same thing. Holla.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Got It

Louis is an exceptional catch player. Well, I guess I really don't know if he's exceptional. I am comparing him to Norah who refused to play ball with me as a baby and is terrible at it to this day. I think Lou is an awesome ball player. He will play catch for 30 minutes at a time and his throw is surprisingly accurate. I was trying to get a video of it today and while it's not a great reflection of his abilities because he kept getting distracted, he says very clearly what sounds like "GOT IT" when asked "did you get it?"

Now, I doubt that's what he really said, but it totally sounds like it and that's good enough for me.


We are drowning in snot over here. Early last week Norah picked up one of her cootie colds at school and promptly passed the bug to her brother. Like clock work, two days later I took him in for what I was sure was another ear infection. I was correct, another double. Because this is his third in a short period of time he was put on a much stronger antibiotic. He seemed to get better over the course of the next couple of days; the snot stayed the same but his disposition definitely improved.

Then on Saturday he became a crying, cranky, whiny, snotty hot mess with a fever that hovered around the 101 mark. On Sunday the advice nurse advised us to go urgent care because it sounded like the antibiotic wasn't working. His ears looked pretty good though and the doctor was certain something else was causing the fever. Of course she had no idea what that thing might be. Thank you, $15 co-pay. Lou hung out with BVZ most of the day on Sunday watching football while Norah and I ran around doing errands and helping Bubby get old toys out of the attic. I have never been so glad of her hoarding as I was when I saw my old Sesame Street village yesterday.

When we got home about 6:00, BVZ told me that he had put Lou to bed because he "was burning up," but of course didn't think to check his temperature. I pulled him out of bed and sure enough, 104. We, and by we I mean I, woke up every four hours throughout the night to check on him and dose him with medication, which was very successful in bringing down his fever. He has been very sad and sick, not interested in toys or playing at all. This morning at about 11:00, he was back up to 102 even on Motrin, so the advice nurse advised us to bring him in (shocking). Another $15 co-pay, another report of fine looking ears and no real answer as to the fever other than "it must be viral."

Oh, and this particular antibiotic he is taking has to be refrigerated to remain stable. Someone-and I am not naming any names-left it out last night (okay, it was me), and so it had to be replaced this morning by the pharmacy. Of course our insurance company wouldn't pay for it, so that was another $54.

Things really turned around after his afternoon nap though, and appear to be looking up. He still has a bit of a low grade fever but acting much more like himself. I think I am going to stop calling the advice nurse. She keeps costing me $15.

In Norah news, this is the outfit she dressed herself in this morning. I don't monitor her getting dressed in the morning, basically I just tell her to go pick something out and get herself in it. I just have to tell her it has to be something with sleeves and she can't wear her fancy Christmas dress to school. She does a pretty good job putting it together. So good in fact, that unless I was there to witness it, I would wonder if she belonged to me at all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Picture Palooza

I finally downloaded all the pictures off my phone for the first time since before Christmas. In no particular order, these are the ones I thought were worth mentioning.

We gave Reid a toddler slide for his birthday but it arrived damaged and had to be sent back. When I went to an actual store to get him a new one (oh the horror of non-online shopping), I made an executive decision and got this inflatable race car/ball bit instead. The babies basically want to live full time in it.

There are a lot of great parks around here. This one has a duck pond.

Everything in this town is kid-centric. Especially the local mall where you will find a full-size carousel, train, and play area. I call this picture, "building their immune systems."

In the blink of an eye the baby became a kid. He crawls, cruises, talks, waves, points, and walks (with a lot of assistance).

She looks more and more like me every day, pointy chin and all.

We got a membership to the children's museum downtown. They have this great room where you can build a wheel and race it down a ramp.

Being Belle.

Lou's eating has improved tremendously. Unfortunately, Norah brought home a new crop of pre-school cooties last week, they both had a terrible cold, and Lou ended up with his THIRD double ear infection. The snot, combined with his inability to breathe, combined with the upset stomach he gets from the antibiotic, means he's back to eating like a bird.

Good thing he's a cute bird.

The kids received this wagon as a Christmas present from GG. It gets used daily.

The train table is still the biggest hit around here. It gets played with for hours and hours every day. It has replaced the coffee table in the living room. I should have know actual grown up furniture was too good to be true.

Norah likes to get in the crib with Lou after his naps. See the video monitor on the edge? Because it's a strangulation hazard we had the cord taped to the wall. Hulk Lou ripped it down during his nap one afternoon. So, I tripled taped it. He ripped that down. Needless to say monitor is now on the ground.

Garbage day never fails to impress these two.

Norah's new favorite thing is "floating" in the bathtub. I love it because it detangles her hair better than anything else I have tried.

Both kids are bath obsessed. Norah will often ask to "take a tub" in my bathroom while I get ready in the morning.

Look closely at the car and you will see Lou about to do a face plant in the ball pit.

Norah loves weddings. She likes to hear the story about when BVZ and I got married and she loves to look at the jewelry I wore and pet my dress (it's in the closest, still hasn't been cleaned and put away....) Last night she asked if she could try it on. For sure.

Whenever Norah is really missing Ruby she will wear her Tinkerbell pajamas. And then she will tell me, "send a message to Ruby's mom that Ruby should wear her Tink kajamas too so we won't be missing each other so much." Done and done.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Norah's school had a cute little holiday program a few weeks before Christmas. They all sang, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Five Little Christmas Trees." Norah got to be the "number one Christmas tree" which apparently was a pretty big deal. According to the teacher, she got this honor because she was the only kid the teacher trusted to 1) actually sing, and 2) not cry and/or run away. She did great and even announced when her part was coming up. She told me that it starts off as a sad song (the trees don't have a home), but ends up as a happy song (the trees get to go home with a family). It's a win-win.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

11 in 11

I shamelessly stole this idea from my friend Suzy's blog....go through your photos from 2011 and choose your 11 favorites. It was damn near impossible. It's not that we have a ton of great photos, in reality the good majority from the year are from my iphone. But there are a ton of memories. A zillion trips to the beach. A billion play dates with friends. Tons of cousin hugs. Museums, adventures, excursions, and family visits. And then there are the boring Tuesday afternoons. Some really awesome, boring Tuesday afternoons.

In no particular order, these are the ones that tug at my heart strings the most:

1. Everyone told us this was a good time to move because the kids wouldn't be too attached to the place they were leaving. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Norah has the very best friend a three-year-old could ever ask for. I fully expect Ruby to spend a week with us every summer when she's in high school.

2. This was after the moving van left, right before we left to spend the night in a hotel our last night in California. It was incredibly bittersweet. It was a house that could not contain us any longer, but it was our first house together. The house our babies came home to. The house we first called a home. It didn't have enough bathrooms, but I loved it just the same.

3. This is so representative of Louis's first few months. An adoring big sister. And a whole lot of barf.

4. This was the very first time that Norah held her baby brother. (Thanks Suzy, for the great photo). She visited on the day he was born but didn't want to hold him. The next day she did. And she hasn't stopped wanting to hold him since.

5. This is my all time favorite photo of Norah and Louis together. They are such great and happy kids. They both have fabulous hair and beautiful blue eyes. I love them more than I thought was possible (hokey, but true).

6. I never thought I would throw my kid a fairy themed party for her birthday. But, I did, and it is quite possibly one of my favorite days of all times. It was pure magic. I love the joy and wonder in her eyes. That day she knew anything was possible.

7. I sure hope they will always be this content in each other's company.

8. Louis is so lucky. He has a forever playmate. A best friend for life. Not just a cousin. More like a brother. A brosin.

9. Norah's birth was scary and stressful. I don't remember the first time I saw her and there are certainly no pictures of it. That has always made me tremendously sad, and I was determined not to let history repeat itself.

10. The kids have awesome big cousins. Megan and Trevor are so great with them and every single morning that Norah wakes us she asks, "do I get to see Megan and Trevor today?" Seriously. Every.single.morning. Norah will never have a sister. I don't even remotely feel bad about that because she has Megan. Even though there is a seven year age difference they are thick as thieves. It's the best of both worlds. Someone you adore who will never steal your clothes.

11. We are so lucky to live around family now. But, we still miss the family we left behind. These are forever friends, for me just as much as for Norah.

I probably have 2011 more that mean just as much, but that will have to do. Bring it, 2012.