Saturday, May 30, 2009

What a Week!

And by that I mean it was a SUCKY week.

Monday night we had a visit to the ER. Riley's first in fact. He was wheezing and so we threw him into the car and headed to ER. Once there he was no longer wheezing and was smilling at the nurses, he is such a flirt! This meant we were not high priority we spent a few hours there only to have an idiot Dr recomind cough surup (not suposed to have till 2 yrs old) but would not give us and nebulizer for him.

The next morning we went to visit Dr. Wonderful who told us the other Dr was wrong to give us cold medication (duh) and he gave us an inhalor for Riley with a face mask so he can actually use it.

Sleep has been hard to come by and since Riley has to sleep almost vertical that means he sleeps in the car seat, which I then put into his stroller next to our bed. It is a sight to see for sure but it allows me to be right there if he begins to cough and needs help getting the phlem out.

Then R and I caught the cold. For once in our relationship R is sicker than I am. He also sucks at taking care of himself, he will stop eating and not lay down until he is to the point of passing out. This means I have two babies on my hands not just one. But my mom did come over every day this week so that I could nap. She has been a god send. I seriously don't know how people who live far away from family do it. I don't think I would have survived this week without her.

Thankfully this weekend we have nothing going on so resting is on the agenda in a big way.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

That is how I would sum up this weekend.

Friday Riley spent the night with Aunties Holly and Shannon. He slept very well for them, 6 hours straight, leaving mommy a little peturbed and wondering why he won't do that for us. But I also got some much needed rest and so did R, which was the point of the sleep over.

Saturday: Picked up Riley and had a day with his Aunts, R tagged along too which was nice because so often he doesn't. We had breakfast at on of our favorite places and then walked around town. Afterward we went to Bab.iesR.us to pick up a few things: a cup holder for my stroller, a flotation device for Riley for the pool, and a gift for Father's Day.

In the evening we visited R's family. Who proceed to make me crazy, telling me that Riley should be crawling by now, and wanting to know what other tricks he does, um he isn't a dog people! I told them he: sits by himself, interacts with people, smiles, giggles, sucks his thumb (sometimes), loves to bounce in the jumperoo, babbles at us sometimes and is generally a happy baby. They still felt he should be crawlng by now, which I assured them is a completely asinine request of a not even 6 month old. But still they insisted. Uggg. At least Riley's Auntie Sheila had a good time playing with him. R's bro Peter wouldn't even touch him which I think is weird but whatever. Then right before we left R felt the need to have his dad hold Riley. He proceded to bounce Riley hard on his knees, which made Riley cry. That makes Grandpa Pete the first person to make Riley cry and not be able to calm. But what do you exspect Riley doesn't know these people, he is just related to them.

That night was AWFUL sleep wise, and included a two hour wakeful period in the middle. Again how he can sleep so well for his Aunts and so crappy for me I don't get. But more about that in a different post

Sunday: After our bad night I asked R to get up with Riley, he did and then brought him into bed with me, forcing me to get up. I took Riley in the nursery and feed him while R slept an extra HOUR in bed! I was not pleased with him.

Then we did solids for the first time! Those went better than I thought. He protested the spoon being put into his mouth at first, after all his reflux meds taste like poopy salt water, so he just doesn't trust us when we try to put things into his mouth any more. After a few bites he got the hang of it. I took a ton of pictures:




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We had a playdate with some internet friends including Griffin, which was a blast! The weather was crap and I was worried about Riley getting too cold but he did fine. There were lots of new moms to hang out with and it was fun to see all the little babies some of which were only a month behind Riley but still much smaller.

Then after the playdate we went to lunch with A, S, and Griffin as well as A, B and their daughter Katie to lunch. At this point the sleep deprivation got to me and I broke down crying. What a hot mess I looked like I am sure! But they all cheered me up, after all they have been there too. We went back to A's house after lunch, Riley missed his nap BUT at least was in a good mood. He loved playing with his friends. Now that he is sitting up he can keep up with G and K. K and him even shared toys, but G would get mad if K tried to play with his. It was so funny! At one point Riley and Katie were sitting side by side, he used her to balance himself so that he could lean all the way forward to get a toy. YA!





Saturday night I was prepared for another long night, Riley's been coughing so we put the humidifier back in his room. He slept 6 hours and 40 minutes straight! If your counting he hasn't done that for US in 5 weeks. R and I are astatic and we think the humidity is just what he needs to sleep. Shan and Holly's house is nice and moist thanks to them living so close to the ocean, which is why he sleeps so well for them but not us. We now have the humidifier in his room going 24 hours a day and I pray that this continues to work.

Monday: We finally slowed down a little R got up with Riley and let me have some extra rest in bed. He did cereal again and morning routine, which went great. I didn't fall back asleep but I got some restful time in bed, something I am sure I will get less and less of as Riley gets bigger and more active. Then we all went to get R's car tire fixed. We had gotten a flat on Saturday afternoon, and this was our first chance to fix it. It was a good lazy day as a family, something we haven't had in a few weeks. Don't get me wrong I LOVE our busy days with friends but there is something really nice about just hanging out with the ones you love most and no one else.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Solids

This week we are starting solids, yes S-O-L-I-D-S. My little baby is getting so big, and it is way to fast for me. I am not ready for him to start them BUT he is more than ready. He is 5 months and 3 weeks old, has been watching us eat for weeks and is loving everything in his mouth. He shows signs everyday that he wants to eat with us, and has now twice pulled food off my plate in an attempt to feed himself. Plus a solid just might help with both his sleep issues and his reflux. The reflux is reason alone to start a few weeks before 6 months.

I however am not ready at all for him to start. One I am not ready to admit my little baby is growing up. Two I am afraid that it will make breastfeeding even more difficult. After all it was just last weekend he re-learned to breastfeed outside of the house. Three is my supply has always been wonky, it will be fine one day and drop the next. Pumping an extra feed seems to be the only way to keep my supply from dipping and sometimes I have to pump two extra feeds, once in the day and once at night. This has left me with a nice freezer stash that he may never eat, some of which I have already donated.

But parenting isn't about what I am ready for it is about what he needs and is ready for and so we are starting solids. After much himing and hawing and back and forth about which solid to do first R and I have settled on Oatmeal. It isn't the perfect solid, but it is gluten free, and is normally is in the top three first foods our pedi recommends. It also doens't taste as bad as rice cereal, a requirement in our house because one of our parenting rules is that R and I try anything we give to Riley, so both of us know exactly how BAD his reflux meds are and how the Tylenol tastes just like candy.

This weekend also makes perfect sense because R is home and will be here to witness either the failure but hopefully the success of solids. Stay tuned to find out just which way the adventure of solids turns out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sleep Plan

We are loving the new bedtime routine, not that he is sleeping better but at least we are now consistent. It is helping us get a little more sleep, he now does at least one 3-4 hour stretch a night, but given that at his age he should be at least doing 6 hours in a row we are still exhausted. His structured nights mean a more structured day. I now know when Riley will nap during the day and can actually PLAN things with people! We still need to be home for nursing and naps so that gives me an hour to hour and half to do something. It isn't much time but it is something.

His naps are getting a little bit longer. He hasn't had a 30 minute nap in a few days, and has gone 1.5 hours once without needing me to put him back to sleep. It is a slow road but we are working on it.

At some point we are going to sleep train. I am dreading it. But there are a few things we need to do before we throw another wrench at him.
1) Consistent with bedtime and going to sleep routine for at least 3 weeks (one week done already)
2) Get more food into the boy! This means he needs to both nurse better and we have to start solids. I feel uber guilty about starting them before 6 months BUT I am going insane from lack of sleep.
3)Self soothing: Riley needs to learn how to do this. He can get his thumb most of the time (I gave up on him not being a thumb sucker two weeks ago) but when he can't it pisses him off and sometime he hits himself so hard it wakes him up.
4) Better Naps: An hour is good but he NEEDs more than that.

So we are on our way to hopefully having a better sleeper at some point. In the mean time Shannon is taking Riley overnight for us every few weeks. Tonight will be his second night with her. Knowing I get a night off every few weeks is what is keeping me going right now, otherwise I think R might have to have me committed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bouncing Fool

When we started using the Jumperoo so that I could shower everyday I had no idea how much he would love it. He can spend up to 45 minutes in it sometimes without so much as a whimper to be picked up. That is enough time for a shower and a cup of coffee! However we are very careful to limit his time in it too, because it does increase the pressure on his hip joints. To reduce that pressure I have started setting it even lower to the ground so that his knees stay bent all the time. It is better for his hips and he doesn't seem to mind it. Plus it reduces my mommy guilt for having him in a contraption. Here are some cute pictures of my bouncing fool:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Morning!

We have been struggling with our nights for a while now. Riley was getting up sometimes every hour and it was killing me and R. Our whole life was taking a back seat because all we could manage to do was make sure we were feed, clothed and alive enough to make it though one more night.

However, Thursday Shan came over and helped us iron out a better routine for both the day and the night. So far it is going well. It helps that breastfeeding is going better too. Actually breastfeeding is going much better. He has now taken a few meals, good size meals even at other people's houses. I even got to have a conversation during one of them. We still struggle with brightly lit places, restaurants, and any where loud. But I will take what I can bet because I was starting to feel like a shut in. A quick run to the store was about all I could do with him. Unless it was our breastfeeding support group, I always made room in the day for that because it was what kept me sane and breastfeeding, that and him not taking a bottle.

While nights are better in the mornings we are still struggling with whether to swaddle or not. He has to be swaddled at night but at about 6am he wakes up, eats and then he goes back to sleep for about and hour. Twice now he has broken out of the swaddle me, but I have been hesitant to give it up. Today he broke out of it again and then went right to sleep and I now know it is time to give it up, at least for that hour nap/finish off the night sleep. I just tried to put him down for a nap not swaddled: FAILURE!

Overall life seems to be improving. Not that it was awful a week ago, just that it wasn't much of a life.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Birthday Weekend

Saturday was my BIRTHDAY! I had a great day. R got up early with Riley who decided 6:30 was a good time to start the day. They made me pancakes for breakfast which is our normal Saturday morning meal but they were extra yummy for some reason. Our plan for the day was lunch with friends, and we had a GREAT time. Shan and Holy brought me my favorite cake, chocolate with raspberry filling, from my favorite bakery which is about an hour away from me, they are great friends. Then we met up with A, S and Griffin as well as Sally and Landon. My mom came to lunch too, she may be my mom but she is also one of my closest friends. It was blistering hot at lunch but we managed to have a good time. Riley melted down and so my mom took him back to my house early. It was so sweet of her because he really needed the nap.

That night we dropped Riley off at Shan's house, while we had dinner and then she kept him overnight! People seem to have strong reactions about me leaving my baby overnight with someone else, they either feel it is too soon or that it is a wonderful thing. My opinion: OMG it was the best gift EVER (other than my son). He did great and so did I. I knew Shan would take the best care of him, he adores her and she loves him too. He took the bottle from her with little issue, and slept very well. I only called once at the beginning of the night and texted her one time too.

Sunday R and I got us and went to get Riley, who lit up as soon as he saw us. I didn't realize how much I missed him till I saw him. We had a yummy breakfast as a family at a place near the city and then headed about 1.5 hours away to R's Aunt's house, where there was a family get together. We had a good time, and everyone loved seeing Riley. He was a very good baby given the heat and that he had never met most the people there. He tolarated being passed around as long as he came back to me or R inbetween.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend. I spent it with those I love most in the world, my friends and family. What more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What the hell Riley?

Last night it took a car ride after two hours of trying to get him to fall asleep. Then he was up at 2 am and 4 am then up for the day at 6 am.

He went down for his am nap at 8:15 it is almost 10:30 and he is still asleep.

I am thankful for the long nap but wondering if I should wake him. After all I don't want him to sleep all day and then not sleep tonight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Autism

A month ago R, and I took a class about Autism. My degree is in Child Development and I have taken a few classes which talked about Autism and therapies involved in treating Autism but NOTHING in my educational background ever talked about prevention or causes beyond the vaccination debate.

I am NOT going to talk about the vaccination debate in this post. If you want learn more about that please read Dr. Sear's Vaccination Book. It is the best well rounded book I have found to date on the subject.

Back to the class I took. Our class was taught by a local pediatrician who specializes in environmental factors of Autism. Recently there has been a lot of looking into different environmental factors including Mercury and other chemicals. One interesting fact is that Autism and Mercury poising have 33 common traits. Thus some parents of children suffering from Autism have chosen to do mercury poisoning treatment and have found positive results. We also talked about APA therapy, exposure to heavy metals, chemicals in the home, and bio-medical treatments.

In the end I felt she had some good tips for parents who are concerned about Autism.

1) Eat Healthy: stay away from high mercury fish and fruits and vegetables that absorb the most pesticides. If you can eat organic fruits and veggies, the "dirty dozen" being the most important. For a list of "the dirty dozen" (is the fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticides) go to foodnews.org

2) Be careful of the kinds of chemicals you use in the home. This is true for cleaning AND the body products you use on the baby and you (especially if you breastfeed). Go to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and search out the products in your home. Then replace them with less toxic versions, sometimes it is as simple as just changing the scent of your deodorant! Be especially careful about the bath product you use on your baby!

3) Buy and use a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter with Carbon filter. You would be surprised what is lurking in your water, including jet fuel in some areas!

4) Look at your risk factors for Autism. Does a parent sibling or cousin have Autism or a Autism spectrum related disorder including but not limited to ADHD? If so read Dr. Sears Vaccination book and think about delaying vaccinations.

Physical Therapy

Riley had his first PT visit yesterday. He was such a happy baby for Heidi (the PT) and she kept commenting on how well he was doing. It certainly made me feel proud to have her cooing over him. Right away he showed her how he tries to grasp for objects, and most of the time gets it. Then she looked at his head and measured it. She noted that his left ear is slightly forward, which I knew already. Then she examened his hips and his arms. His hips looked great but his right sholder is tense, most likely because he was breech and thus scrunched a little awuardly in those last few weeks.

Then we talked about my pregnancy and his birth, and as soon as I mentioned that he was born at 36 weeks she said, "So he is actually 4 months not 5 then". I breathed a big sigh of relief that I wasn't going to have to argue developmental age with her! YA for well educated people! While most people would say that 36 weeks isn't a premie it is in fact pre-term. Since development starts at conception and not birth, being born a month early is in fact a big deal when you are still counting a child's age in months, it won't be such a big deal when he is 4 or 5 but for now it is impacting where he is developmentally.

She said that for a four month old he is developmentally on track and even slightly ahead. He sits better than many 5 months olds that she sees and only does the taco fold when he get tired. He knows his center and crosses the midline well, I can thank all the baby wearing and baby yoga for that. He is reaching and grasping at a 4 month level, but is slightly behind in rolling. She said this is because of the reflux (not enough tummy time) and because of his tight shoulders and neck.

She gave me a list of things to do with him:
- Put him on his tummy every time I go to put him down EXCEPT for the 30 minutes after he eats and when he is sleeping.
- A underarm/shoulder stretch that looks like a salsa move to me
- And two different things for his neck: one being a stretch and the other is just getting him to look in one direction more than the other.

Things she wants me to keep doing: Baby Wearing! Baby Yoga, and the Bumbo seat. I was thrilled for her to okay the bumbo seat because I know it keeps the pressure off his head, which will help correct his flat spot and his forward left ear.

In the long term she said the only thing she is concerned about is that forward ear. The inner ear is what helps us balance and having that slightly forward can and will negitivley impact his development in the future. It can delay the balance needed for walking and other gross motor skills. So anything that keeps him off his back or strengthens his neck mucles is a good thing, including the bumbo and baby wearing.

I have four weeks to work everyday on the things she asked and then she will see him again. She seemed really positive that he will be caught up with his peers by a year if not sooner. Over all it was a great visit and I am so glad I pushed for the referral.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Breastfeeding Woes

Given the lack of sleep I got last night my mom came over today to help with Riley. She cleaned house and watched him while I took a good two hour nap. When i woke it was time to feed and Riley was giving all the cues that he was ready to eat. But he wouldn't eat. He took maybe 1/2 an ounces and that was it. He screamed and thrashed and yelled and cried until I cried and gave up.

Breastfeeding isn't supposed to be this hard, not this late in the game. He should be eating well not .5- 3 ounces at a time but 5-6 ounces at a time. It shouldn't make me want to cry and give me panic attacks thinking about his next feeding. And so it is with a heavy heart that I anounce our plan to wean him from breastfeeding.

The Plan:

May 16th My BFF Shan is taking him overnight, the hope is he will take a few bottles for her and thus be more receptive to eating for R that night from a bottle. We will then give him 1-2 bottles of pumped mommy milk every day. If he takes to the bottle we will then introduce formula a little at a time. I will still pump but after June 7th I will slowly cut out one pump or breastfeeding session every three to five days till he is just on formula.

I am not happy about any of this. I want to breastfeed but it is not working any longer and I find it more important to enjoy my son than breast feed him. Of course if breastfeeding gets better we will most likely continue to breastfeed for longer but either way he needs to take a bottle. I simply can't do this any more.

Dear Riley

Dear Riley,

You are five months old today. I can't believe how fast the time has flown by and how big you have gotten.

You are now grasping things quite well and transferring them from hand to hand. In our breastfeeding support group you played with your rattle for about 5 minutes and I just sat there watching you beaming with pride. After all just a few weeks ago that wouldn't have happened.

You are also sitting up, and while you can't do it for very long you have made amazing improvements in this ability with just a few days practice. I love watching you sit and can't wait for your bald spot to get hair now that you are sitting more and more. Even though you can sit on your own, you still love the bumbo seat for when you get tierd or have just eaten.

I wish I had better news about breastfeeding and sleep. For the last three weeks both have been crappy. We are still breastfeeding but I feel fairly defeated about it. I want to make it to 6 months so today we aren't quitting, but I don't think we will be making it to a year. I am saddened by this but also relived that I will soon be getting my body back. When you nurse well then I love breastfeeding but sadly we are averaging about one good feeding a day and that is killing me. Of course because you aren't eating well you aren't sleeping well. We seem to get one good night of sleep out of you and then 4 nights of hell. Last night you were up over 5 times. I actually lost count because it got to the point where daddy was sleeping on the floor of your room. We are tired so if tonight you could sleep well we would be thankful. I know that the moment you start sleeping better I will decide to keep breastfeeding, I really do love it and I know it is the best nutrition for you.

It is so much fun to watch you interact with others these days. Besides daddy and me your next favorite person is Grandma Dallas. You light up for her and she loves you so much. You do however give her a hard time when you are hungry or sleepy. I don't understand why though, she does everything just like I do but you still want me or daddy. Grandma Dallas has been trying to get you to take a bottle. You took an ounce the other day and we were so happy. I really hope you learn to take full feedings from the bottle soon, it would really help us out with feeling better about breastfeeding.

Some of the things we are doing together during the day include our breastfeeding support group, baby yoga and other things at Day One, and the park. You love to watch the big kids play and get so excited to see them. Daddy says you would jump off our laps and run after them if you could.

Your favorite time of day is when daddy gets home. You just light up for him. Recently he has been talking to you about Star Wars. He wants you to be a geek just like him. He is great about diaper changes, giving you your meds and playing with you but he doesn't like bath time, which is funny because you love the bath. He reads to you, does baby yoga to help you poop and sings songs to you, and you just beam back at him.

We love you so much Riley and are thankful for every day. You are a wonderful little boy and we consider ourselves luck to have been chosen to be your mommy and daddy.

Love Always,
Your Mommy

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Look who is Sitting Up!

I am so proud of my little guy, yesterday he sat up unassisted for quite some time before falling over. I even got pictures and video of it. I am extra excited because he is going to be seen for a grasping issue next week with the PT and I was afraid he was falling even farther behind his peers because he has yet to roll over too. It makes me feel better to know he isn't falling too far behind his peers.





And here it is on video:
video

Monday, May 4, 2009

So that is what is going on!

We figured it out!

Riley's wakeful periods at night and him wanting to be feed a lot at night are.... NORMAL! I finally found someone who knew what she was talking about. Kellymom has a great article that explains how 4 months olds are easily distract able and thus don't feed well during the day (yep that is Riley) and thus they make up for it at night, when it is dark and they are swaddled with less to look at. This is EXACTLY what Riley has been doing! She goes on to explain that CIO isn't the answer because that will make my milk dry up. Ya! One more reason not to CIO! I knew there had to be a reasonable explanation for his recent behavior.

The bad news is that this doesn't normally resolve itself till the child it 6 months old. I am really hopeful it resolves before that but if not just knowing that this is normal and that CIO isn't the answer has given me more resolve to get through this. That and the fact that my wonderful friend Shannon has offered to take him overnight this Friday IF she doesn't go up to visit her mom. Can you all think good thoughts for me that she skips the visit with her mom and takes Riley for the night instead?

In reflux news the new meds while awful in taste are working better than the old ones.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

He has my smile

So often I hear "he looks just like his daddy" when it comes to Riley's facial features and I 100% agree. Riley could be R's clone, but sometimes I do get a little sick of hearing it. The other day I was looking through photos and noticed Riley has my smile. I love my smile! I tend to smile with my whole face when I am truely happy and so does Riley.