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

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

happy 7 months

baby brian,

happy 7 months, little love!  no surprise here, but you are still growing, growing!  you are at such a fun age.  you are so interactive, not quite mobile yet (other than rolling many times over), and your personality is getting bigger by the day.  you love music, being carried around, playing in the saucer and jumperoo, walks outside, and bath time.  you get so very distracted when eating or getting your diaper changed.  you can’t quite sit up yet, so mommy feeds you in the bumbo – you spent too much time trying to sit up in the bouncy seat, but the bumbo has challenges too.  you try to grab the buckles to put in your mouth, you try to reach down to touch the table, you try to grab the food and spoon if mommy sets it down, you try to put your bib and hands in your mouth, the list goes on.  even during bottle feedings, you have a newfound interest in touching mommy’s hair and face.  when you reach your little hand up, i give it a loud kiss and you giggle away.  i wouldn’t trade those moments for the world!  during diaper changes, you are so intrigued by the containers of lotion and cream in the little cubbies on either side of your changing pad.  you always try to turn and grab them, sometimes you’re successful.  you’re definitely strong enough that it’s hard to keep you facing forward so mommy can finish the diaper change.  back to sitting up, we’re working on it!  you’re definitely strong enough, you just don’t understand that if you throw yourself back you will fall.  earlier today, you did sit up by yourself for 5 seconds… you have to start somewhere.

you are less interested in eating than you have been in the past.  i’m fairly sure that part of it is that you are ready to move to a 4 hour schedule instead of eating every 3 hours.  however, since you’ve been at daycare, it’s hard for mommy to know what you really need.  maybe over thanksgiving break in a few weeks i can work on adjusting things.  you eat all sorts of veggies and fruits now.  i mix them with rice to make them a bit thicker, which you do better with.  you also eat baby yogurt.  the first time you tried it, you had a funny look on your face, but then you ate it like a champ!  it is quite possibly the messiest food to feed you though!  anyway, for now you get three small meals of solids and 5 six ounce bottles a day.

you still sleep pretty well at night, although i think you had your first bad dream a few nights ago… you started crying pretty hard at 11:30 pm.  because you had been sick with ear infections, mommy thought it was prudent to check on you, turns out you were sound asleep and felt cool as a cucumber with no fever.  i picked you up to calm you down and you nestled into my shoulder and fell right back asleep (being your mom is seriously the best).  you take 3 good naps a day at home, but only 2 small ones at daycare.  i think daycare is exhausting for all of us, but daddy and i hope to make some changes soon.

while i’m on the subject of daycare, it pains me to write that your “teachers” are not taking care of you like mommy would.  aside from the poor nap routine (i get it, daycare is just different than home), your onesies are often completely soaked with drool despite my efforts to take you every morning with a bib on.  your teachers also told me that you are biting other children. but you’re not mobile yet, so they must be putting other babies on top of you.  plus, everything goes in your mouth – you’re too little to know that another human is not fair game like a toy.  your teachers also seem to not be able to feed you solids at the right mealtime, so you actually had no solids for dinner the other night.  my favorite is probably this: your teachers told me that you are having a hard time playing independently and that you’re too fussy.  i responded that you’re probably fussy from the lack of good naps… doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  there is another little boy close to your age in your class, henry.  your teachers are always comparing you to him and suggesting your schedule should be like his.  but you are not henry!  most days, you are crying when i come to pick you up.  monday this week was the icing on the cake… a different teacher was in the classroom when i came to get you.  i heard you wailing as i came down the hall, signed you out, and covered my shoes.  i walked in the room to see that you had slipped from this big boppy that they often use to help you sit up.  you also had no toys around you, and you were sitting in a huge poppy diaper.  meanwhile, the daycare worker just sat on a rocking chair and rocked another baby who was not eating or upset, as she stared into space.  the daycare has a policy to check IDs if they are not familiar with who is picking up the child, and this lady just completely ignored us.  i started to put you in your carseat outside the classroom, but you spit up.  i went back in to get a wipe and the teacher said “what’s the baby’s name?”  clearly she did not know us and should’ve checked my ID to make sure i was actually your mommy.  another parent was picking up his son when all of this was happening.  we left the classroom together and i asked him if you had been crying like that the whole time he was in the room, and he said yes.  it’s hard to hand you over to someone for 10 hours a day and trust that they are doing the best thing for you.  we tried it for a month, it did not work, so your “teachers” will not be your teachers for much longer.

we’ve had lots of doctor visits since last month.  your routine well child checkup – you are a tall one (seems like your chubbiness goes away pretty quickly as you gain more length).  another quick visit to get your first flu shot.  two sick visits, one because you scratched your eye, and one for double ear infections (october 23rd) that came from a nasty daycare cold.  in fact, the cold was so nasty that mommy and daddy got it too and mommy ended up with a sinus infection.  we also had two appointments with the cranial banding specialist.  it’s a good thing we did because even though the neurologist tried to convince us that your plagiocephaly is mild, according to the actual measurements, its technically severe on the asymmetry measurement and the cranial band is covered by insurance.  you have been measured at this point and we’re waiting for your helmet to arrive!  the plain band is pretty ugly, so we plan to get yours painted… maybe for the carolina panthers (they are actually having a good season this year, and you do like to watch football with daddy).  reflux is still an issue, but daddy and mommy pray everyday that it parts ways with you soon.

we did do some fun things this past month.  we had your 6 month photos taken.  they turned out so great… probably because you are so handsome!  and we also dressed you up like a bear for our church’s “trunk or treat” the day before halloween and for trick or treating on actual halloween.  you didn’t love getting in the costume, but you didn’t mind it once it was on.  and boy were you the cutest bear i’ve ever seen!

we have lots of other prayers for you – for your growth and development, for your health and safety, for you to have wisdom, for you to love and serve the Lord.

i love you so much, baby buddy.  you are my favorite and i’m so grateful God chose me to be your mama.

love,

mommy

happy 6 months

baby brian,

how am i already writing this?  how are you 6 months old?  i want to freeze time and keep you my little baby for a little while longer.  every night before bed, i look at pictures of you from the day and sometimes go all the way back to your newborn photos… i can’t believe how much you’ve changed from just a few months ago.  but growing up is good.  and growing up is what you are doing!  this month you found your feet (september 14th).  you can even get them to your mouth, because everything must go to your mouth!  two more teeth also came in – the upper and lower right lateral incisors (september 22nd).  i think you really want to crawl, but you just can’t figure it out yet.  instead, you put your arms out to the side and flail and kick… daddy calls this your supermans!  it’s funny because when you are wiggling around in your crib, you know to tuck your legs up under your butt, you just don’t know that this is necessary to crawl too.  physically, you are a bit chunkier at about 17 pounds and your hair is starting to come in more.  as much as i hoped you would have beautiful dark hair, it seems to be on the lighter side of brown (although still beautiful).  you look more like mommy and my side of the the family everyday. 

you are still drinking 6 oz in each bottle, 5 times a day.  we also feed you veggies first thing in the morning and at your next to last feeding for “dinner.”  so far you’ve had carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas.  i don’t really think you have a favorite, you did make some funny faces when you first tried carrots.  we used to give you rice cereal, but it was constipating you even with prune juice mixed in, so your doctor told me to just stick with fruits and veggies.  after one more day of peas, we will work our way through the fruits.  your reflux seems to be worse than ever, so i’d rather not stuff you full of solids anyway.

you still love baths – you kick and splash the whole time you’re in your little tub! and you love tummy time, but it aggravates your reflux.  you also like to be outside.

you are sleeping 11 hours at night still, but we will see if daycare changes that for us.  you have been napping 3 times a day, but daycare will probably change that for us too… you only slept for 50 minutes total during your first full day.  even before daycare, you could use that fourth nap some nights, but you won’t take it anymore… no matter how tired you are.  instead, you just fuss at mommy and daddy.  the evenings are rough, but i remind myself that there will come a time when you won’t want us to hold you and entertain you, and i will miss it.  so even if you are a bit fussy, i’ll take it!

going back to daycare, you have been two full day now.  mommy took you for two half days a couple of weeks ago, and that was enough to give you your first cold.  call me soft, i kept you home the next week so you could recover and be well for your dedication at church (september 27th).  the following week we visited pop pop and gigi for a couple of days, so i kept you home too.  you did great at pop pop and gigi’s house.  you had your first nights away from home (september 29th and 30th) and night without us (september 30th).  pop pop and gigi have a little dog, which you didn’t seem to mind either.

your dedication was a beautiful and special event.  so many of our family and friends were there to watch mommy and daddy commit to raise you in a Christian home.  our church’s children minister read the verse we chose for you.  it is such a special verse, it carried me through waiting for you to be in mommy’s belly and waiting for you to arrive in this world.  this verse reminds me that even on the scariest and worst of days, God is the mightiest.  i pray that one day you will know this truth too and surrender your life to Him, because as much as i wish this won’t be true for you, there will be hard days.  here is the verse: ah, Lord God! behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. there is nothing too hard for You. {Jeremiah 32:17}

as far as doctor visits go, we had two follow ups for your misshapen head.  after the first visit, the doctor suggested we wait one more month to see if it evens, but it hasn’t really.  i thought today they would recommend a helmet, but the doctor said no!  your poor little ears are even crooked… mommy and daddy don’t want you to be self conscious about that, so we may end up self referring anyway.  i also took you to the doctor for your spitting up. it is kind of out of control.  it’s definitely worse with formula and solids, but they are harder to digest.  now you’re more mobile, and it seems as though you are just jiggling the contents of your little belly too much.  the doctor said there’s not much we can do besides get more burp cloths.  we’re praying things improve soon!

i pray for you every day, little love.  i pray that God is preparing your heart to accept Him.  i pray for your health and safety.  i pray for the resources and wisdom to raise you.  i pray for your head and reflux and dimple.  i pray that you will get adjusted to daycare and eventually nap.  

i love you millions and millions!

mommy

happy 4 months

baby brian,

seriously?  how are you 4 months old already?  you are little, but oh so big to me.  and you’re as cute as ever.  you still have peach fuzz, and with your two crooked little teeth, your baby grins light up my day!  you grow and change so much from week to week.  this month you started going 12 hours between feedings at night (july 14th).  mommy didn’t think you could do this until you started solids, but you surprised me!   daddy and i slowly decreased your 10 pm feed, saw that you were still sleeping through the night, and then just dropped it cold turkey.  i only wish i was sleeping 11 hours at night too {pumping is a sacrifice}.  this month you also started to grab and pull toys hanging in front of you (july 13th).  you also talk so much more and make new sounds all the time.  my favorite one is the sound you make when blowing bubbles.  recently, mommy saw you take your wubbanub paci out of your mouth and put it back in (august 3rd).

your favorite activity is {still} eating!  you are currently taking 6 oz each bottle for a total of 30 oz every day.  when you see the bottle coming, you open your mouth, and you often cry after you suck the bottle dry.  but if we feed you more, you spit up.  i think you will really like solids – we will see if the doctor clears you for them at your 4 month appointment in a few days.  your second favorite activity is bath time, especially when we “brush” your teeth/gums with a wash cloth.  you also love to be carried around so you can see different things.  the playmat and saucer get old quickly.  you do love to hold and chew on burp cloths, which is one of the only things you can successfully get to your mouth right now.

you’ve gotten a little better about tolerating the car seat to go on outings with mommy and daddy.  since you are more alert, you usually stay awake and watch what’s happening.  you don’t talk or cry much during our outings, almost as if you are shy.  at home you are much more vocal – even your everyday babble has approached a new volume!  we get lots of squeals!

we had a couple of “sick” doctor visits since last month.  one was because you were causing your arm to turn purple from sleeping on it before you could roll over all of the way.  the doctor said the blue blood was pooling in your arm because you were cutting off your circulation.  but since the color would quickly come back, we didn’t have to worry.  thankfully that only lasted a few days before you could flip all the way.  our second doctor visit was for your asymmetrical head {officially known as plagiocephaly}.  the left side is bulging in the back a little, and your left ear is not in line with the right.  mom and dad think this could be caused by you sleeping on the left side of your face {from sleeping on your belly, you almost face plant in the crib… scary!}, which could be potentially causing things to shift back on that side.  well, that doctor visit landed us a referral to the pediatric neurologist since your case of asymmetry is a slightly more pronounced than those your pediatrician usually sees – he thinks maybe the neurologist will want to rule out more serious issues.  that appointment is 2 days after your 4 month checkup.  mommy and daddy are praying that it goes well, which is all that we can do.  that was the story when i was pregnant with you too – daily relying on God to carry us through the scariest of moments.  i tell you, never a dull moment for us!

otherwise, our daily prayers for you are mostly the same.  we pray a lot for your general health and safety, that your sacral dimple doesn’t cause developmental delays, that your sweet little head is ok.  we want you to come to know our Lord from a young age.  we want you to rise above the pressures of this world and the distractions that rob you spiritually.  it’s so easy to focus on what society says is valuable – money, the latest and best gadget, fancy possessions, beauty, etc.  i know this is a lot to tell you at 4 months, but those things are fleeting… they and the “happiness” they provide are temporary.  we want you to focus your energy on things that are not of this world, things that God delights in.

i love you, baby buddy.

mommy