Saturday, September 29, 2012

When Parenting is Hard_TEST

I had debated sharing this with the internet, but my blog has been a documentation of my grown-up life and this is a part of my journey. Daniel and I had initially hesitated sharing on Facebook and only told our immediate families. But in the end we decided that on the day of Jack’s MRI we wanted to have people praying on behalf of our little guy. We wanted people to know. We wanted support. And we definitely got that. I was also surprised to find out how many people I know who have had similar scares because their baby had a big head…

Here is a bit of our story.

Pediatrician Well Visit  

As a new parent, these are words you don't want to hear at your child's well visit... "It is probably nothing, but your son's head size is off the charts and I would like to refer you to a Pediatric Neurologist." 


We went to our pediatrician's office expecting the usual. Our biggest concerns were what to expect next in our child’s life. The conversation we had instead was Not.What.We.Expected.

Granted, we knew Jack had a big head. We have joked about it since the first ultrasound when Daniel pointed out the big noggin. Daniel has a big head. His dad has a big head. My dad has a big head. Jack is in good {smart} company.

However, being off the charts means you are an anomaly – even if someone has to be the one who is not average. It's hard when above average is not considered a good thing and it's your child who is fitting this criteria. In Jack's case, our doctor did say that his big head was part of what makes him so cute {we think so, too}.

Anyway, Daniel and I are not worriers by nature. We didn’t want to waste a lot of energy and time worrying about this. But it was still there. Lingering in the back of my thoughts.

I skyped my parents with the news. I told them not to worry, but asked them to keep us in their prayers. I told them not to google, because it would probably create more concern. I told them we weren't going to google, but my curiosity got the best of me and I went ahead and did a brief search. I don't want to worry, but when the appointment came I wanted to be informed.

I'm not going to lie. I cried at the thought of what this could all mean. Then I picked myself up, snuggled up to Daniel, said a prayer for Jack and did my best to let go and let God. Worrying wouldn’t make any potential problems go away.

Pediatric Neurologist Consult 

We went to see the pediatric neurologist. Jack was meeting all of his milestones and was a happy baby. The neurologist measured Jack’s head. Then he measured Daniel’s for comparison. They were pretty similar in terms of percentiles for their respective ages.


The neuro made it clear that the main reason for concern was not that Jack’s head was off the charts, it was more an issue that his head had grown too quickly. It had crossed percentiles in a big way and this was definitely cause for concern. The neuro wanted Jack to get an MRI.

The mama in me did not want to do this to my little boy. But the mama in me also wanted to be sure that we were doing all we could for Jack. We discussed our options: according to our neuro, Jack was too old to do an ultrasound. We could go with a CAT scan but the odds were we would end up doing an MRI anyway. So we decided to schedule the MRI.

The official diagnosis on Jack's paperwork from the neurologist was Macrocephalia. As we left the neurologist, I googled Macrocephalia… Jack didn’t exhibit any of the symptoms of this diagnosis other than having a big head. An MRI would determine if he had Hydrocephalus or if there were any other causes for concern.

MRI
In retrospect I should have talked to my good friend who is an anesthesiologist... She would have told us what to expect and how we could have made sure that Jack had a good MRI experience. But that didn’t happen.



We scheduled the earliest scan possible at 8 in the morning. We had to be there at 6:30 and Jack couldn’t eat after midnight the previous night. He was tired and hungry. And there was no way to communicate to him what was going on. All we could do was be there and hold him.

Daniel spent a lot of time walking the halls with Jack because whenever Jack saw me he would cry from hunger.

We finally got into a patient room and the nurse came in to prep us. She was really friendly and we both liked her right away. She said they would have to put in an IV and that because of Jack’s age they couldn’t numb the area first.

If I had talked to my anesthesiologist friend first, we would have known to request that Jack be put to sleep with a mask first and if that was not possible, we could have considered other children's hospitals like Vanderbilt. But you can’t change the past.

Babies are chubby and their veins are small which makes it hard to insert an IV needle. To start, our nurse put heat packs on Jack's wrists, then it took 4 nurses to hold him down in order to try to insert the IV. During this process Daniel and I held Jack’s hand and stroked his hair. They tried for 40 minutes and Jack fought. The entire time. After 40 minutes they stopped to give him a chance to calm down.

Then came another round of trying... In the end, they managed to get the IV into his wrist. They had to put a splint on his arm to keep the IV from moving. He was so exhausted from fighting them that by the end he just lay still and cried softly.






After the trauma of inserting an IV was over, the nurses let us sit with him in the dark to help him calm down. I rocked and sang to him. He fell asleep in my arms.

They finally came in to take him to the MRI room. We were able to go with him. I held him while they started the drugs and he fell asleep. Watching him get an IV was terrible, but when the nurse told us to kiss him goodbye and leave the room, I struggled not to cry. Leaving him was the hardest thing. He looked so peaceful.

We waited in the patient room. The MRI took less than 5 minutes. We were prepared for the anesthesia to take 15-30 minutes to wear off. Before we knew it, a nurse was carrying him down the hall back to us. He was already awake.

I nursed him and he forgave his nurses. By the time we left, he was happy and even smiled and waved goodbye to the nurses who had to insert the IV.

We went to Chick-fil-a and then drove home. Our little guy didn’t nap much the rest of the day, but went to sleep at 5pm and slept through the night, only waking to nurse. He was so exhausted.

And so we waited.

The Results
We tried our best to not worry; to continue to trust in God that it would all be ok. Friends reached out to say they had similar experiences and their babies were fine. We updated our families and waited for the results.




The afternoon after the MRI, the neurologist’ office called me. Jack’s results were NORMAL. A huge sense of relief flowed over me. I cried. I am so thankful that Jack is ok.

Part of me felt guilty because I know that somewhere another mom received different news. My heart aches for the parents who receive the dreaded call with bad news. They will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

Children are this amazing gift that we have been entrusted with. They are ours. It is scary and awesome that we get to watch a part of ourselves grow up and form into little people. And we have to trust that it will be ok. I think that everyone’s ok is different. For some, ok will be really hard. But we have to trust that whatever happens, it will be ok.
This old hymn has been in my head since that first doctor’s appointment:
Walking in sunlight all of my journey,
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee—
Promise divine that never can fail. 

Refrain:
Heavenly sunlight! Heavenly sunlight!
Flooding my soul with glory divine;
Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine!

Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the light, in Him is no darkness,
Ever I’m walking close to His side.

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

When Parenting is Hard


I had debated sharing this with the internet, but my blog has been a documentation of my grown-up life and this is a part of my journey. Daniel and I had initially hesitated sharing on Facebook and only told our immediate families. But in the end we decided that on the day of Jack’s MRI we wanted to have people praying on behalf of our little guy. We wanted people to know. We wanted support. And we definitely got that. I was also surprised to find out how many people I know who have had similar scares because their baby had a big head…

Here is a bit of our story.

Pediatrician Well Visit 
As a new parent, these are words you don't want to hear at your child's well visit... "It is probably nothing, but your son's head size is off the charts and I would like to refer you to a Pediatric Neurologist."



We went to our pediatrician's office expecting the usual. Our biggest concerns were what to expect next in our child’s life. The conversation we had instead was Not.What.We.Expected.

Granted, we knew Jack had a big head. We have joked about it since the first ultrasound when Daniel pointed out the big noggin. Daniel has a big head. His dad has a big head. My dad has a big head. Jack is in good {smart} company.

However, being off the charts means you are an anomaly – even if someone has to be the one who is not average. It's hard when above average is not considered a good thing and it's your child who is fitting this criteria. In Jack's case, our doctor did say that his big head was part of what makes him so cute {we think so, too}.

Anyway, Daniel and I are not worriers by nature. We didn’t want to waste a lot of energy and time worrying about this. But it was still there. Lingering in the back of my thoughts.

I skyped my parents with the news. I told them not to worry, but asked them to keep us in their prayers. I told them not to google, because it would probably create more concern. I told them we weren't going to google, but my curiosity got the best of me and I went ahead and did a brief search. I don't want to worry, but when the appointment came I wanted to be informed. 

I'm not going to lie. I cried at the thought of what this could all mean. Then I picked myself up, snuggled up to Daniel, said a prayer for Jack and did my best to let go and let God. Worrying wouldn’t make any potential problems go away.

Pediatric Neurologist Consult
We went to see the pediatric neurologist. Jack was meeting all of his milestones and was a happy baby. The neurologist measured Jack’s head. Then he measured Daniel’s for comparison. They were pretty similar in terms of percentiles for their respective ages.


The neuro made it clear that the main reason for concern was not that Jack’s head was off the charts, it was more an issue that his head had grown too quickly. It had crossed percentiles in a big way and this was definitely cause for concern. The neuro wanted Jack to get an MRI.

The mama in me did not want to do this to my little boy. But the mama in me also wanted to be sure that we were doing all we could for Jack. We discussed our options: according to our neuro, Jack was too old to do an ultrasound. We could go with a CAT scan but the odds were we would end up doing an MRI anyway. So we decided to schedule the MRI.

The official diagnosis on Jack's paperwork from the neurologist was Macrocephalia. As we left the neurologist, I googled Macrocephalia… Jack didn’t exhibit any of the symptoms of this diagnosis other than having a big head. An MRI would determine if he had Hydrocephalus or if there were any other causes for concern.

MRI
In retrospect I should have talked to my good friend who is an anesthesiologist... She would have told us what to expect and how we could have made sure that Jack had a good MRI experience. But that didn’t happen.


We scheduled the earliest scan possible at 8 in the morning. We had to be there at 6:30 and Jack couldn’t eat after midnight the previous night. He was tired and hungry. And there was no way to communicate to him what was going on. All we could do was be there and hold him.

Daniel spent a lot of time walking the halls with Jack because whenever Jack saw me he would cry from hunger.

We finally got into a patient room and the nurse came in to prep us. She was really friendly and we both liked her right away. She said they would have to put in an IV and that because of Jack’s age they couldn’t numb the area first.

If I had talked to my anesthesiologist friend first, we would have known to request that Jack be put to sleep with a mask first and if that was not possible, we could have considered other children's hospitals like Vanderbilt. But you can’t change the past.

Babies are chubby and their veins are small which makes it hard to insert an IV needle. To start, our nurse put heat packs on Jack's wrists, then it took 4 nurses to hold him down in order to try to insert the IV. During this process Daniel and I held Jack’s hand and stroked his hair. They tried for 40 minutes and Jack fought. The entire time. After 40 minutes they stopped to give him a chance to calm down.
Then came another round of trying... In the end, they managed to get the IV into his wrist. They had to put a splint on his arm to keep the IV from moving. He was so exhausted from fighting them that by the end he just lay still and cried softly.


After the trauma of inserting an IV was over, the nurses let us sit with him in the dark to help him calm down. I rocked and sang to him. He fell asleep in my arms.

They finally came in to take him to the MRI room. We were able to go with him. I held him while they started the drugs and he fell asleep. Watching him get an IV was terrible, but when the nurse told us to kiss him goodbye and leave the room, I struggled not to cry. Leaving him was the hardest thing. He looked so peaceful.

We waited in the patient room. The MRI took less than 5 minutes. We were prepared for the anesthesia to take 15-30 minutes to wear off. Before we knew it, a nurse was carrying him down the hall back to us. He was already awake.

I nursed him and he forgave his nurses. By the time we left, he was happy and even smiled and waved goodbye to the nurses who had to insert the IV.

We went to Chick-fil-a and then drove home. Our little guy didn’t nap much the rest of the day, but went to sleep at 5pm and slept through the night, only waking to nurse. He was so exhausted.

And so we waited.

The Results
We tried our best to not worry; to continue to trust in God that it would all be ok. Friends reached out to say they had similar experiences and their babies were fine. We updated our families and waited for the results.


The afternoon after the MRI, the neurologist’ office called me. Jack’s results were NORMAL. A huge sense of relief flowed over me. I cried. I am so thankful that Jack is ok.

Part of me felt guilty because I know that somewhere another mom received different news. My heart aches for the parents who receive the dreaded call with bad news. They will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

Children are this amazing gift that we have been entrusted with. They are ours. It is scary and awesome that we get to watch a part of ourselves grow up and form into little people. And we have to trust that it will be ok. I think that everyone’s ok is different. For some, ok will be really hard. But we have to trust that whatever happens, it will be ok.

This old hymn has been in my head since that first doctor’s appointment:

Walking in sunlight all of my journey,
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee—
Promise divine that never can fail.  

Refrain:
Heavenly sunlight! Heavenly sunlight!
Flooding my soul with glory divine;
Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine!
 

Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the light, in Him is no darkness,
Ever I’m walking close to His side. 

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.

See Jack {late August}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.
See Jack work on his standing skills.
{late August}


See Jack read himself a book.
{late August}

See Jack take off his bib when he is finished eating.
{late August}
------------------------------------------------------------
Finally, here are a couple of videos of Sophie from our trip to Charlotte.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pin It: Homemade Coffee Creamer

It has been awhile since I wrote a Pin It post. Crafts are hard to get to these days, but cleaning tips and recipes abound in the Pinterest world and I definitely take advantage of utilizing those pinboards. I still rely heavily on my Google Reader for my weekly meal planning, but Pinterest has been great for recipes that just sound good.


This morning I tried making Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer. I love my Coffeemate, but it is full of all sorts of ingredients that aren't real and I had been eying this recipe for some time. It was easy enough to make. Heavy Cream, Whole Milk, Maple Syrup and Vanilla. Heat and steep for 20 minutes. I'll be honest, it is decent, but definitely not as sweet as I like. The next time I make this, I think I will go with brown sugar instead of maple syrup and double the amount of vanilla.


Last week I tried the Brownie in a Mug recipe. No picture, but not too bad for a last minute dessert when we were out of ice cream. I have some ideas for improving this recipe. If I get around to it, I will make it again and post whether or not my tweaks improve it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cloudland Canyon: Waterfall Trail to Hemlock Falls


Today was a rough day in the Moore household, so I am going to blog about a happier subject: Saturday's hike on the first day of fall.


Being outside does something for my soul. It allows me to refocus and to let go of whatever is troubling me. This past Saturday I really needed that. Plus the weather was perfect for hiking.


Ideally I need to spend time outdoors at least once a month {preferably more}. With a baby and busy schedules, I am learning to accept that we can't be on a trail every weekend of the year and we may not go backpacking this year, but we can do some shorter hikes. 


So that is exactly what we did...


Our last visit to Cloudland Canyon was almost a year ago. I was 8.5 months pregnant and we hiked 4 miles on the West Rim Trail. This time we were on our third hike since Jack was born and our first trip back to Cloudland.


Instead of the West Rim Trail, we decided to take a brief stroll on the Overlook Trail – a short, wheelchair accessible path that allows you to view the canyon from the opposite side of the gorge from the West Rim Trail. We felt good on the brief walk and decided to attempt the moderate 2-mile hike to the Hemlock Waterfall down in the gorge.


This was not a particularly challenging hike, but walking with a 22-pound baby strapped to your back does pose some challenges. Twenty-two pounds is less than what I would carry on an overnight backpacking trip {which could be anywhere from 25-50 pounds depending on the length of our hike and the season}, but camping gear doesn't wiggle or have the propensity to lean to the left the entire time.



As we began to descend into the gorge, we passed a group of boy scouts taking a break on their way up. One of the leaders said something along the lines of, "We'll see who is walking the dog on the way up."



In fact, on the way up I was still carrying Jack and Daniel still had a handle on Sophie. It just works best this way. Sophie can be a handful if we run into other dogs on the trail and I have shorter legs and cannot keep Sophie's pace. Daniel also carries our water and anything else we feel like we need for a trip, so we think it is a pretty equal scenario.


This trail was composed of many stairs. Well over 200 {one way}. It wasn't that hard, but it did leave my quads trembling by the time we reached the bottom.


Another concern was Sophie. She was not a fan of the metal grate stairs. We think that being able to see below her was not her favorite way to hike. Coming back was a challenge for her as well because climbing stairs is not natural for her. But she was a trooper and hung in there. Daniel thought the stairs were probably as tough on Sophie {if not tougher} than the rock pile that is Mt. Washington, that we climbed last May. 


Jack was fascinated by the waterfall. We took the time to sit and enjoy the view and the breeze coming off of the falling water. Jack kept holding his hand out to touch the mist.


He was a little trooper and stayed awake during the entire hike {all 2 miles of it}. Including our time spent at the bottom, it took us about 2 hours. Not a fast pace, but comfortable and the perfect amount of time for a 10-month old.


Before we headed up to Cloudland Canyon State Park, we took the opportunity to have lunch at Thatcher's Barbeque and Grille. With a 94% rating, Urbanspoon did not let us down. I will post about our lunch experience tomorrow. 






Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 Book 23: On Becoming Baby Wise II

I find it interesting that I read the second book in the Baby Wise series just as a research paper on a 5-year study of the topic of sleep training was released. I find it mildly amusing that with the release of this paper came headlines that were completely opposite. On the same day, my Facebook feed was full of opposing articles and thoughts on the subject. Dear media: I become more and more disenchanted with you and your biases with each opposing side you take.

I am not hear to argue about sleep training or whether you choose the "cry-it-out" method. I think we all find ways to parent that work for us. We need to take more time to try to understand each other than just arguing about so-called facts. 

I read Baby Wise on the recommendation of several parents that I admire. The methods in this book worked for many people I know and I choose to follow this method. The biggest thing I learned from the first book was that having a consistent routine is key. Eat. Play. Sleep. Repeat. It gave me bearings as a new mom. I was able to meet the needs of my child before he got to the crying stage. I also learned that "crying it out" means different things to different people. It is not unloving. You do not ignore your child. You take care of them and meet their needs. You also encourage them to learn how to self-sooth. If you have never tried this method or never tried to understand it, I really don't think you have a place to judge.

I follow a blog called Science of Mom. This woman is a mother who also happens to be a researcher. She has written some great posts on the topic, including The Cry-It-Out Controversy. If you are interested in learning more about the newest study and its claims, please take a moment to read her blog post: The Last Word on Sleep Training.

Now that Jack is 10 months old, I felt the need to get a better understanding of how to adjust his schedule as he begins to require less sleep. My sister suggested that I read the second book in the Baby Wise series: On Becoming Baby Wise II: Parenting Your Pre-Toddler Five to Fifteen Months by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, which covers ages 5-15 months. 

I didn't feel like this book was as good as the first. Also, we have chosen some different methods of parenting that don't align with all of the methods outlined in the book. And I think that is OK. I really think parenting is about discovering what works for you. Finding understanding of your child. Learning how to be a good parent. And those things are going to be different for everyone.

The best parts of this book for me where the ideas of routines and what should be happening during the day. How often my little one should be napping and playing and how to meet his needs. This book also discusses the beginnings of discipline. It goes into depth about how discipline is different from punishment. It gives some guides on how you can begin to discipline your child. The recurring theme is Begin as You Mean to Go.

Daniel and I have discussed the discipline thing. At this point, Jack doesn't need true discipline. He doesn't push the limits. We have begun to introduce the word, "No." He has some understanding of this, but we also feel like he is still in a learning and discovery phase. If he doesn't do what we say and continues down the path he is on, we remove him from the situation. I know this will become more of a challenge as Jack grows, but that is a topic for another day.

Another big component of this book is about the difference between "baby proofing" and "home proofing." Baby proofing is when you make everything "safe" in the sense that you rely on locks and gates and anything else you can think of to keep baby from getting into trouble. 
“Home-proofing” your child means setting appropriate limitations on your pretoddler’s mobility, and gradually introducing freedoms when his safety is no longer the primary concern.This is the method we are following.
The book also discusses personality and temperament. This was my favorite part of the book. It made me realize that both Daniel and I have grandfathers who were never a part of our lives. We have no idea what they look like or what kind of temperament's they had. It is kind of weird to have missing puzzle pieces – for our sakes and Jack's. 

The biggest drawback to this book is that it is kind of "preachy" which is unfortunate. There is some good material here but this type of tone can definitely be a turn off. Especially when you are a new parent trying to navigate the waters of how to parent best for your child.

Excerpts from the book (kuddos to you if you have stuck with me this long):
As his body grows, so does his mind, accompanied by an acquired understanding that his actions will generate reactions from Mom and Dad by the cute and not-so-cute things he does. 
 
The first step toward reasoning skills and comprehension is the development of healthy learning patterns and good habits.
 
...parents are society’s representatives and are expected to bring their little ones into reasonable behavioral conformity.
 
You do not want to prevent your child from exploring life, but you do want to provide reasonable guidance in the process. 
 
A baby understands the meaning of words long before he can verbalize them. 
 
When parents focus only on their children’s wrong behavior, then the right behavior they are hoping to instill is left undefined. That eventually translates into a child who learns to avoid what not to do, rather than what he should do...
 
...the purpose of punishment is to set a value on wrong behavior—to make it expensive. Punishment should always be tied to deeds that are morally right and wrong. That is why true “punishment” is not appropriate until a child is old enough to comprehend the meaning of right and wrong. That will not happen until the formation of conscience, which emerges around three years of age. The conclusion? You do not punish a baby.
 
The joy of discovering how something works becomes the motivation that perpetuates a longer attention span and deeper levels of concentration.
 
1. Heredity bestows capacity 2. Environment provides opportunity 3. Personality recognizes capacity and improves opportunity...
 
“A child is born in part, he is made in part, and in part he makes himself.”
 
Heredity, it has been said, determines what your child can do, and environment determines what your child will do. Supervising all three aspects are the caretakers of life—Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

See Jack {early-mid August 2012}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

See Jack play with the Laundry Basket...evidently it is better than toys. 
{early August}

See Jack read. I hope his love of book continues.
{mid August}


See Jack do what babies do. A little reading... a little standing... a little talking.
{mid August}

See Jack wait on his Dada to get home. He loves time with his daddy.
{mid August}

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 Book 22: How to Be an American Housewife


How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway is a novel about a Japanese woman, Shoko, who chooses to marry an American GI shortly after WWII in an attempt to better her life. She was from a small village close to Nagasaki and heart problems plague her throughout her life, presumably from the effects of radiation. Shoko receivers her parent's blessing for her marriage, but her brother considers her decision to be unforgivable.

The book is separated into three parts. The first part is Shoko's story. The second part is from her daughter's perspective. The final part brings the women together, melding both of their stories together.

It was an interesting perspective of culture. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a fictional novel written for Japanese women on how to be American housewives.
Example: Once you leave Japan, it is extremely unlikely that you will return, unless your husband is stationed there again or becomes wealthy. Take a few reminders of Japan with you, if you have room. Or make arrangements to write to a caring relative who is willing to send you letters or items from your homeland. This can ease homesickness. And be sure to tell your family, "Sayonara."
The cultural aspects of the book are both intriguing and sad. Shoko basically had to pretend to forget her culture and raise her children in the American way. All the while, she would remain an outcast for the duration of her life for not being an American woman. On top of this, she harbored a dark secret for the majority of her life. A secret, that she is finally able to release herself from before she undergoes heart surgery...

This was not my favorite work of fiction, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

Excerpts from the book:
My own mother had taught me how to cook by observation. No formal measurements. Learning how to cook was like learning a language. You picked it up...

"You could be the smartest woman in the world, but you're still a woman. A poor Japanese woman from a country that has lost a war... The best you could hope for is to go to college, pretend your high-class, and marry a diplomat."

Japan wasn't democratic like America. Who you were descended from counted for more than what you made of yourself...

For the first years of my marriage, it {the book fictional novel, How to be an American Housewife} had been my handbook, my guide to doing everything. Rules for living, American style. Sometimes it was right, and sometimes it was not. Sometimes I liked it, and sometimes I didn't. But that was just like life. You don't always get to do what you want, do you?

Nothing could have been different in the circumstances I was in. The person I used to be could have made only one choice; the grown-up Shoko might have made a different one. That was how life was. You only figured out the right thing after you were old.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jack is Ten Months


I know that I say this every month, but child, please slow down. I love every phase and it is getting more and more fun with each passing day, but I want to savor it too. I need to enjoy the sweet kisses and snuggles {I take advantage of these every moment that I can because I know a day will come when he will no longer want or need my kisses or hugs}.


Jack continues to crawl around the house, getting more interested in his toys and things that could be toys. He loves door stops and we have discovered that cords, phones and remote controls can be great motivators of getting our little one to crawl.


He also loves doors. He wants to close every door that he can find. If you set him down, he will make a beeline for the closest door.


Standing. Oh my. Our little one loves to stand. He has been pulling up on anything he can get his chubby little hands on. Us. The couch. A laptop bag. The bathtub. He just wants to stand. When he first stood up in his crib, he was a little confused about the whole sitting back down part.


His favorite "word" seems to change each week... At the beginning of the month it was "boom." I have no idea what he thinks it means, but he says it all of the time, "Boom, boom, boom." We think it is hysterical and we say it right back. Sometimes we sing, "Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang." And he giggles and says, "Boom" back to us. Week two, he was stuck on "Rahhr." And week three his word is, "Diddle." It is so funny to listen to him string these "words" together. He uses inflection and different words to make "phrases" which keep us laughing.


Jack knows his name and if we ask, "Where is Sophie?" He will start searching the room for her. He has been doing this for some time. Now he also searches for "Dada." Not so much me... maybe because I tend to be the one holding him and asking the questions?


Sometime in the last month Jack started the habit of turning sideways or all the way around in his high chair when we are eating out. I guess he would rather watch all of the people around us than stare at us. He also turns sideways in the grocery cart. If he can get turned sideways in a seat, chances are, he will.


Firsts include sitting up from a laying down position and pulling up to a stand. Jack has been pulling up while in our laps for some time, but this month he mastered pulling to a stand using furniture, his crib, a lap top case, a basket... really anything that he can prop himself up on. It is amazing how much he is learning. I also caught him trying to crawl into the dishwasher for the first time.


Jack also had his first visit to the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga with his cousins.


Jack loves to shake his head "no" whenever we ask a question. If we nod and say, "yes" he just giggles and shakes "no." We get a kick out of asking him questions just to get the "no" response. The funniest example of this is when we were at Life Group on the first Thursday of football season {Daniel and I don't watch football, so we were enjoying the visiting}. I asked Jack if he liked football. Before he could shake "no" one of our friends informed us that we at least had to give him a chance to like football for himself :)


At the end of the month I experienced the first instance where I think he deliberately did something I told him not to. He crawled over to Sophie's water dish. I told him "no" in a strong tone. He looked up me, shook his head "no" and then proceeded to dump the water all over the floor. 


Oh my. I am not ready for this.


Up until recently Jack seemed to be very sensitive. He cried at loud noises and would also cry if we have to make a loud sound to get his attention. I think he may be outgrowing this phase as he has not been bothered in recent days.


Jack continues to be a delight to us. That time between supper and bedtime is better than TV. Watching Jack discover new things and play with us is a treat.


End of month stats
Height: 28.5"
Weight: 21lbs 2oz
Clothes: 12+months
Foods: We continue to introduce lots of different foods. He really likes grapes, strawberries and tomatoes right now.
Words: He continues to make lots of different sounds and "words" we still haven't determined if he really understands that Da Da is Daniel or that Ma Ma Ma is me.
Movement: Our guy is on the move. Crawling became coordinated and sped up this month. He is mostly focused on getting places so that he can pull up to a stand. He uses the couch and coffee table to "walk" around. Occasionally he will let go and stand for just a second before plopping down on his butt. We had a few tough days where he would sit or stand in his crib and he didn't really understand that he needed to lay back down in order to go to sleep. He seems to have figured this out.
Teeth: Jack still has 2 teeth, we keep thinking more are coming in, but so far, no dice.
 

*I will be writing monthly updates of Jack with pictures of Jack and the Tonka truck on the 11th of each month. One Month Old. Two Months Old. Three Months Old. Four Months Old. Five Months Old. Six Months Old. Seven Months Old. Eight Months Old. Nine Months Old.

Lock Flock Family Reunion, 2017

When I was growing up, my family didn't take vacations in the traditional sense. We never went to the beach. We never visited Dis...