happy birthday, brian!

big boy brian {guess i can’t address you as baby brian since you are a whole year old now!},

happy birthday, bubby!  i can’t believe we’re already here.  the last year has absolutely flown by!  i’m so thankful you are a part of our family.  you bring me and daddy so much joy… we love you millions and millions, more than we have words to describe!

as usual, you’ve continued to grow and change over the last month.  you have your upper one year molars now (first spotted on march 20th, but they were likely there earlier, it’s hard to get a good peek into your mouth).  you are pulling up on any and everything, especially things you shouldn’t be like the oven door to play with the stove knobs!  you can walk holding on to a walking toy or our couch.  crawling is not new, but you like to crawl with toys which is interesting, especially if a toy is big and clunky.  you can sign “all done,” mommy and daddy haven’t really tried to work on other signs with you.  you definitely try to repeat words – the other day i asked you if you wanted a blueberry and you said “buh buh” over and over again.  i have a pretty cute video of it!  and any time you’ve heard the word blueberry since you recite “buh buh.”  they are the only food you’ve attempted to ask for by name, and you seem to love them!  sometimes you a repeat after us – we hear “goh” a lot for “go,” and mommy thinks you tried to repeat “oatmeal” earlier this week.  mommy also taught you how to brush your hair – you don’t get it quite right, but of course it’s cute.  and you hold up your toy phone to your ear and sometimes jabber.  you are definitely learning so much!  you know how to pinch, daddy and i are not so fond of that.  and you know when i’m not paying full attention to you.  there have been instances of you biting me and pulling my hair if i’m holding you and doing something on the cell phone at the same time.  it’s a good reminder that i should be fully engaged with you, but i also have to remind you to be gentle and not to bite. 

for activities, you love to look at books.  you’re favorite seems to be “hand hand fingers thumb,” which is a book about monkeys drumming on drums.  you always smile and laugh when we read that one together.  you also like to go on walks and ride on your smartrike.  toys don’t entertain you for long, but your current favorite toy seems to be a disney train that sings songs as you push it along the floor.  of course you’d rather be playing in mommy and daddy’s kitchen cabinets, in the freezer, with electrical chords of any kind, with the only nightlight in our house, on our console table behind our couch, or with your  nightstand in your room.  we used to tell you “brian, that’s not a toy” when you were playing with something you shouldn’t, but that doesn’t work any more.  you also love to open and close dresser drawers and remove their contents. 

we started swim lessons after mommy resigned from work.  you were a little timid at the first lesson, and you took a big gulp of pool water… we have some things to work on.  my hope is that you get comfortable with water and learn how to safely float and swim in the event of an incident in water.

your feeding and napping schedule is pretty much the same.  we’re still on formula, but your one year appointment is less than a week away, so i’m sure we will be switching to whole milk.  this isn’t necessarily new, but daddy and i have noticed that you seem to wiggle your butt as you get comfortable for naps and nighttime sleep.  like most things you do, we think it’s cute.

the last month held crazy things for you medical wise.  we decided to get a second cranial band to see if it would help correct your plagiocephaly further.  before your first band, your head was severely asymmetrical, and now it’s moderately asymmetrical.  mommy has little hope that the second band will work, but i didn’t want to have regrets and wanted to try all we could to help correct your head shape.  we had a doctor visit for a little rash on your face and legs.  the rash on the face seemed to be allergy related and the leg rash was diagnosed as eczema.  your doctor told us to just use hydracrotozne cream to clear it up (which by the way, the face rash isn’t any better yet).  then the same evening as the day we went to the doctor, you came down with a horrible, awful stomach virus.  i don’t even want to talk about it because mommy is still frustrated that her little boy who can’t even talk yet came down with such a rough illness.  you cried, i cried, it was bad.  it took you several days to feel better again.  we think you picked up the germs at church on Easter sunday. we are taking a break from the church nursery for a few weeks.

we had your one year photos made, complete with a smash cake.  you didn’t really eat that much of the cake, but the pictures were still pretty handsome.  your first birthday party is this coming saturday.  it’s a circus theme, mommy has been working hard on it.  we can’t wait to celebrate your first year with our family and friends. 

our prayers for you remain much the same.  we always pray for your health and well being.  we continue to pray that the sacral dimple doesn’t cause issues for you – we’ve seen some great developmental signs that we’re very grateful for!  we pray that swim lessons will be a success.  we pray that you will grow to love the Lord and live your life for him.  we pray that you will be smart, a leader, compassionate, caring, obedient, honest.

i love you so much, brian.  happy birthday, again, little love!

mommy

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happy 11 months

baby brian,

happy 11 months, baby buddy!  i say this every month, but i can’t believe we’re already here!  i’m so thankful you are learning and growing, but i do miss the tiny baby days.  i miss the way you used to fit on our laps with your head supported by our knees for bottles.  and i miss your toothless grin, but your big boy smile all full of teeth is pretty cute too.

over the last month you have continued to grow and amaze me with all of the new things you are learning.  you have 6 more teeth coming through – all of your canines (february 26-27th) and your bottom one year molars (february 25th).  getting 6 teeth at once is efficiency at its finest!  mommy and daddy have seen you pull up from sitting all the way to standing once (february 27th).  you’ve learned to close doors and to open and close a dresser drawer in mommy and daddy’s closet.  you love to crawl around and explore.  and you love to chase balls and your plastic egg toy around the house.  you’re able to point, mostly when you’re interested in something – fish at the doctor office, whether a door is going to open.  and you can dance when you want to!  it’s pretty cute, like most things about you.

not much has changed with your feeding and napping schedule.  you are drinking slightly less formula on your own, presumably from eating more table food.  in another month or so we will have some big changes like switching to milk from formula and getting rid of the bottle.  we continue to practice with the sippy cup, so hopefully you will be ready.  i always dread big changes in your routine, but most transitions are flawless, almost like you already knew they were coming.  we’ve added a few new table foods – pork tenderloin, cheese, waffles and pancakes, to name a few.  when you really like something, you sign “more” over and over and keep piling food in your mouth.  that’s been happening with waffles, so we have to give you only one piece at a time.  speaking of sign language, you still only know more.  we were working on please, but i guess mommy and daddy have sort of given up.  we will have to get back to it.

something big is happening for our family soon!  in just 5 more days, mommy is resigning from her first big girl job to stay home with you!!  i am so excited… i really think this will be a good change for our family.  you are the most important thing to mommy and daddy, and raising you is the most important job ever.  i can’t wait until we get to spend our days together again, i’ve really missed that the last 5 months.  mommy has already enrolled you in a weekly swim class, and i hope we will be able to participate in moms group at church on thursday mornings (although this activity is during your morning nap, so we will have to see).   

in this last month, you officially parted ways with your cranial band.  your head isn’t perfect, but i don’t think the general public will be able to tell.  you also caught a little head cold, and we visited your pediatrician to make sure it didn’t turn to ear infections.  mommy and daddy did have a little accident with you.  while installing the gate at the top of our stairs, we both thought the other was watching you.  mommy was cleaning baseboards upstairs and daddy walked away to get a tool.  in literally 20 seconds, you crawled down the top stair, which turned into rolling down a few more stairs.  thankfully you had your helmet on, so your head was protected.  your mouth did bleed a little, which led to a dentist appointment.  turns out your one year molars were about to erupt on the bottom and a blister like sack popped through first causing the bleeding… seemed coincidental, but mommy and daddy were pretty shaken up.  i don’t like recounting this story, but i want you to know that we truly believe God hears our prayers to keep you safe on a daily basis.  even when mommy and daddy don’t do such a good job, God does.  we are so thankful that you stayed safe, and we are extra extra careful to always make sure the stair gates are closed.

mommy has been planning your first birthday party!  in a little over a month, it will be here.  i wish i could freeze time right here, but i’m so thankful you continue to grow and learn.  i love you millions, baby buddy!

love,

mommy

happy 8 months

baby brian,

today you are 8 months old, little love!  how is this possible?  you are turning into such a big boy, and mommy thinks a sweet boy too.  while you’re not crawling, you’re mobile in your own way – you roll to where you want to go!  and you can pivot on your belly by putting your hands to a new location and moving that way.  you can sit up now (november 16th)!  you have always been a foot kicker, and you even move your legs back and forth while sitting up… now that takes skill!  while laying down, you’ve started this thing where you lift both of your legs in a 90 degree angle and slam them down at the same time.  not sure where that came from, but you clearly have strong abdominal muscles.  daddy and i practice “mama” and “dada” with you everyday, but your baby babble is still mostly squeals.  you’re really good at imitating noises – a fake cough, clicking, and your own version of the kissy sound.  the other day daddy was fake coughing and you were giggling so hard, then you stopped to fake cough too.  it was pretty cute.

regarding your eating and napping schedule, we moved you to 4 feedings a day (starting november 25th), which means you get 2 naps a day now.  you’re doing really well with the new food schedule, naps are hit or miss, but they were before anyway.  you usually have one good 2 hour nap now and another 1 to 1.5 hour nap.  we are feeding you solids 3 times a day with bigger servings, along with a 6 oz bottle and another bottle before bed.  we’ve also tried introducing dissolvable food that you can practice chewing with (gerber puffs and baby mum mum crackers) – you can bite them just fine, but often gag once they sit back on your tounge.  eventually you’ll get the hang of it!  and we’ve given you a training sippy cup with water a few times.  you can suck from it, but don’t hold it up well to actually get the water out.  we should really be more consistent with practicing, we’ll continue to work on that over the next month.

nighttime sleep has been off lately.  you’re usually such a great sleeper, but the past few weeks you’ve been waking up and crying.  you recently got your cranial band, and at first mommy suspected that was to blame.  but during a break from it, you cried and cried instead of napping one afternoon.  mommy suapects that it’s more teeth and can see the outline of at least one tooth making its way down your gum line on top, but it hasn’t broken the gum line yet.

before i depart from the subject of sleep, i want to note that we had to add a breathable bumper to your crib after several instances of you spending awake time chewing on the crib slats.  you removed paint and wood, and you even cut your little lip.  ni ni said she thought we were getting a baby, not a puppy!  again, teething is probably to blame, but the mesh bumper seems to be deterring you.

as for cranial bands, we finally got your DOC band… but unfortunately it didn’t fit well.  it was slipping down into your eyes, so we took it to get adjusted.  then it just slipped worse and so bad that it was in your line of sight.  the company we are working with remade your band.  the second one still slips, but not as bad.  when we first got this band, it was leaving some pretty yucky red spots on your forehead, you even had a few places bleed.  so you were in and out of the band for about two weeks before we finally got it right, and that made the adjustment for you difficult.  we think it’s good now though.  mommy took it to get painted so it looks a little better.  it’s silver with a carolina panther on it, stripes, the number 15 since you were born in 2015, your initials, and the panther’s unofficial slogan “keep pounding.”  it’s pretty cute and pretty appropriate since the panthers are 11-0 so far this season. 

in addition to the several cranial band appointments, you had one “sick” appointment for being fussy and not sleeping well.  turns out there was nothing wrong with you, so the doctor said you have separation anxiety.  grandma and i think that’s a diagnose for “i’m not quite sure what’s wrong with this baby.”  you really don’t have much separation or stranger anxiety at the moment, it was definitely worse around 4-5 months.  you also had your second flu shot.

we are done with daycare!!  yippee!!  we have a part nanny, really your auntie jordan, and grandma fills in the gaps.  we are all much happier and healthier!

of course mommy prays for you every day.  i always pray that you continue to grow and develop on track, both mentally and physically, that your sacral dimple doesn’t cause issues, that your reflux improves, that your head rounds out.  i pray that you will come to know and love the Lord, and that you will act with wisdom.

i love you so much, brian.  you are my favorite baby, and i am so thankful God chose me to be your mom.

love,

mommy